Police To Fine Brits First Time They're Caught Without A Mask
Police will be handing out fines for people who are caught not wearing a mask for the first time.
This is due to the fact, officers say, that people have had long enough to understand the rules surrounding lockdown, and should know what they can and can't do.
Scotland Yard confirmed yesterday (7 January) that it had instructed officers to enforce lockdown laws more 'quickly' and that the force is prepared to accept fewer 'reasonable excuses'.
The Metropolitan Police also warned people only to leave home if they absolutely have to and to be prepared to explain themselves if they do.
A spokesman said: "Additionally, with fewer 'reasonable excuses' for people to be away from their home in the regulations, Londoners can expect officers to be more inquisitive as to why they see them out and about.
"Where officers identify people without a lawful reason to be away from home they can expect officers to move more quickly to enforcement."
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England would be placed in its third national lockdown in the past year.
The decision came as the number of cases of coronavirus continue to rise across the country, with the new variant spreading far more quickly than previous strains of the disease.
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He once again ordered the country to stay at home, and not to leave other than for a number of permitted reasons, such as for work, shopping for essential items, and medical issues.
Under the rules, people can fulfill volunteering obligations; exercise once a day alone, with people from their household, or one person from another household; visit other people in their support bubble; and carry out compassionate visits, such as to those who are giving birth or in a hospice.
Attending places of worship is also allowed.
All pubs and restaurants must also close, except to provide food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway. Alcohol is banned for takeaway and click-and-collect, but will still be available for delivery.
Mr Johnson also announced that schools were to close until after the February half term, except for vulnerable pupils or the children of key workers.
He said that while the government had been working to keep schools open, they were 'vectors for transmission' and were causing the virus to spread between households.
As a result of the closure, Mr Johnson confirmed it would not be 'fair' for all exams to go ahead this summer.
Those who are found to be outside without a 'reasonable excuse' will be given a Fixed Penalty Notice of £200 for the first offence, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400.
But while the restrictions are set to be looked at in mid February, the five-page lockdown laws, which were published on Tuesday (5 January), say the lockdown could go on until 31 March.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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