From today, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
The measures will also see NHS Test and Trace call handlers contact those who should be self-isolating and police resources to check compliance in highest incidence areas and in high-risk groups, based on local intelligence.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.”
“As cases rise it is imperative we take action, and we are introducing a legal duty to self-isolate when told to do so, with fines for breaches and a new £500 support payment for those on lower incomes who can’t work from home while they are self-isolating.”
“These simple steps can make a huge difference to reduce the spread of the virus, but we will not hesitate to put in place further measures if cases continue to rise.”
Fines will also be introduced from today for those breaching self-isolation rules, starting at £1,000, in line with the existing penalty for breaking quarantine after international travel.
This could increase to up to £10,000 for repeat offences and the most serious breaches, including for those preventing others from self-isolating.