“We would expect that compliance to begin immediately."
People can be fined £30 if they ignore the government’s stay at home orders during the lockdown. The police will serve on the spot fines to anyone breaching the rules.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a lockdown on March 23, 2020.
He said that citizens now have to stay at home in a bid to reduce the spread of Coronavirus. People can only leave home for medical reasons, essential shopping, exercise once a day and critical work.
It was announced that fines for breaching the new measures will be set at £30 but could rise significantly.
Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said:
“The Prime Minister issued a clear instruction on behalf of the government on the actions the public are required to take to help prevent the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.
“As with existing laws, the overwhelming majority of the public can be expected to follow the rules without any need for enforcement action.
“We would expect that compliance to begin immediately.
“The punishment for non-compliance would be a fixed penalty notice initially set at £30 but we will keep this under review and can increase it significantly if it is necessary to ensure public compliance.”
This comes as the number of confirmed cases stood at 8,077 and the number of deaths increased to 422.
Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said:
“These measures are not advice.
“They are rules and will be enforced, including by the police with fines starting at £30 up to unlimited fines for non-compliance.”
Mr Johnson stated that police will have the power to enforce the new measures which include fines and dispersing gatherings.
In many parts of the UK, crowds of people ignored the social distancing advice by visiting open spaces.
The new measures have been criticised for a lack of clarity. Some even asked whether a £30 fine would be enough.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove appeared on Good Morning Britain where he argued that people will exercise their own “common sense” when it came to following the new rules.
He explained: “The police do have enforcement powers under the Public Health Act, there are powers to ensure that people do comply with everything that we’ve said.
“But overall I have confidence that the British people will use their common sense or follow the very clear guidance that the government has given.”
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, admitted that enforcing the lockdown measures was going to be a major challenge for the police.
“It will be very, very challenging and very difficult for us with what’s put in front of us.”
“But we don’t actually know what is being put in front of us yet other than we’re going to be asked to disperse crowds, it’s going to be a real, real challenge.”
These strict measures are highlighting once again the importance of the UK government’s plea for people to stay at home.
However, there are still many people from British Asian communities ignoring the lockdown and continuing to socialise as before.
Especially, when it comes to some of the elderly Asians who still do not understand why they must stay at home. There are videos on social media showing they are still going to religious gatherings and socialising with others in their age groups.
Therefore, if you know South Asian people who do not understand the importance of social distancing and staying at home, it is your duty to explain to them in their mother-tongue and help them understand the seriousness of the situation of COVID-19.
If you are in an extended family, it is your responsibility to keep everyone safe and enforce the stay at home rule unless it is essential to go out as advised by the UK government.