LONDON — People across England face tough new fines if they fail to self-isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.
Starting Monday, those who fail to follow the rules face a 1,000-pound ($1,200) fine, which increases to 10,000 pounds for repeat offenders. The Department of Health and Social Care says those who test positive also will be fined if they knowingly provide false information to contact tracers.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock says the government will “not hesitate” to introduce further measures to restrict the spread of the coronavirus.
The House of Commons on Wednesday may consider an amendment to existing legislation that would give Parliament the right to vote on any new restrictions.
Britain already has Europe’s worst death toll from the pandemic, with about 42,000 confirmed deaths. But those who are calling for tighter restrictions are being challenged by critics who fear further damage to the economy.
In addition to national restrictions, about one-quarter of the U.K.’s 65 million people are living under tighter local restrictions to fight local outbreaks.