Lockdown easing: Face mask refusal fines could soar to £3,200

Friday, August 14, 2020

The penalty for repeatedly refusing to wear a face mask in settings where it is required could soar to £3,200 in an enforcement crackdown amid easing lockdown restrictions.

Currently, those who break the face covering rule face a £100 fine, which can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days, but Boris Johnson’s new measures see that the penalty doubles with each subsequent offence, up to a maximum of £3,200.

Masks are compulsory on public transport, shops and museums, with some exemptions for children or medical conditions.

Meanwhile illegal gatherings of more than 30 people could also see those responsible hit with spot fines of up to £10,000, according to a Downing Street source.

Police chiefs have promised increased patrols to prevent unlicensed events following a spate of parties during the heatwave.

The harsher enforcement comes as plans to open up more of the economy come into force tomorrow, potentially adding to the risk of spreading coronavirus.

From August 15:

– Indoor performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences.

– The piloting of spectators at sporting events will resume.

– Casinos, bowling alleys, skating rinks and soft play centres will be allowed to reopen.

– “Close contact” beauty services such as facials, eyebrow threading and eyelash treatments will resume.

– Wedding receptions for up to 30 guests will be permitted.

The moves were postponed from August 1 due to concerns over a slight increase in the number of people in England testing positive for Covid-19 but that now appears to have levelled off.

The changes will not apply in areas under local lockdowns.

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