Mask dodgers in UK face £3,200 fines as government gets tough on rule breakers
London, August 14, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Mask dodgers who repeatedly refuse to wear a face covering in pubic could have their fine soar to £3,200, while organisers of illegal lockdown raves could be handed a £10,000 penalty, the government has announced.
People in England who don’t wear a mask on public transport and indoor venues including shops and museums currently face a £100 fine, which can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.
Under new measures, this £100 penalty will double for subsequent offences, up to a maximum of £3,200. There are, however, some exemptions for children and those with a physical or mental illness, impairment or disability.
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Meanwhile, a clampdown on illegal gatherings of more than 30 people could see organisers hit with fines of up to £10,000
It comes as police vow to increase patrols, losing patience with hundreds who have descended on beaches, forests and parks for illegal raves in the past few months.
The Metropolitan Police has revealed that more than 530 illegal raves were held in July in London, with other officers across the country also forced to shut down hundreds more.
One incident in July saw revellers at a party in east London launch glass bottles, bricks and roadwork barriers at officers.
Boris Johnson announced the severe hikes last night, as the government also gave wedding receptions, theatres and a number of other events the go-ahead and added France and the Netherlands to the 14-day quarantine list.
The prime minister said ‘most’ people across the country were ‘doing their bit to control the virus’, but ‘we cannot be complacent’.
He said: ‘That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules.
‘At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional and that it relies on continued progress against the virus.
‘Today, we are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed.
‘However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus.’
Home Secretary Priti Patel has also said she would not allow progress in tackling the virus to be undermined by ‘a small minority of senseless individuals’.
Speaking on Thursday evening, she said: ’These measures send a clear message – if you don’t cooperate with the police and if you put our health at risk, action will follow.’