London — Britons breaking coronavirus lockdown rules can be arrested or fined £60 under new police powers.
Introduced on Thursday with immediate effect, the new powers will give police the means to ensure people stay at home and avoid non-essential travel, Sky News reported .
If members of the public do not comply, police may:
- Instruct them to go home, leave an area or disperse;
- Ensure parents are taking necessary steps to stop their children breaking the rules;
- Issue a fixed penalty notice of £60, which will be lowered to £30 if paid within 14 days;
- Issue a fixed penalty notice of £120 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence.
Those who do not pay fines could be taken to court, where magistrates will be able to impose unlimited fines.
And, if an individual continues to refuse to comply, police may arrest them.
In order to help stop the spread of coronavirus, the government has said people are only allowed to leave their homes for:
- Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
- One form of exercise a day – for example, a run, walk or cycle – alone or with members of their household;
- Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person;
- Travelling to and from work, but only where people cannot work from home.
Gatherings of more than two people in public spaces are banned except in very limited circumstances, such as where it is for essential work purposes.