Actions that can still lead to Covid fines as lockdown eases

While the coronavirus rules are starting to change, the third national lockdown is still in place and set to continue for a few more months.

Every five weeks, the Government are due to review the coronavirus rules, with a roadmap stipulating a list of minimum dates when things will be permitted.

Coronavirus fines increase depending on the number of offences, with a first offence will often incur a fine of £200, with the fines doubling each time to a maximum of £6,800.

Serious offences such as organising a mass gathering can incur a fine of £10,000.

In short – any breach of the coronavirus legislation could result in a fine if caught by Devon and Cornwall Police.

However, some breaches are more likely to incur different fines, for example, house parties of over 15 people can incur £10,000 fines for the organiser and £800 fines per attendee.

Here’s some of the things you can be fined for.

Going on holiday and international travel

You can be fined for attempting to go on holiday, as holidays are currently illegal.

Travel abroad currently requires the filling out of a travel declaration form and must be for a limited number of reasons, including work.

Upon your return, you will be required to quarantine, either at home or in one of the Government’s quarantine hotels, depending on where you travel to.

Domestic holidays may be considered as unnecessary travel and if caught by Devon and Cornwall Police, you may be fined.

Mass gatherings

Mass gatherings, whether a large protest, celebration or party could attract fines of £10,000 for the organiser and in the case of house parties, £800 per person attending if its a party of more than 15 people.

Mass gatherings are considered anything where a group of people gather against the rules, with several protests leading to the organisers getting £10,000 fines and some attendees £200 fines each.

A gathering for a celebration event such as a wedding that is above the permitted amount of attendees may also attract large fines.

Having others in your property or public space that aren’t your household or support/childcare bubble

A gathering at a property, whether indoors or outdoors is currently banned. While mass gatherings may incur different fines, generally if you are caught it will be a fine of £200 per person if its their first offence.

On March 29, the coronavirus rules will change allowing people to visit each other outdoors, such as in private gardens.

However, at the moment you are only allowed to meet people one-to-one in a public place for recreation or exercise.

Therefore, visits to peoples houses, including their garden if they are not part of a childcare or support bubble or household can be considered as a breach.

This includes overnight stays at anywhere that isn’t in your support bubble household or in accommodation for a limited number of reasons such as moving house.

Travel elsewhere from your local area

At the moment, the law says people are not allowed to travel from their local area unless for a limited number of reasons.

Therefore, travel unless for those purposes may incur a fine.

This includes holidays and stays elsewhere from your home, which are banned until at least April 12 at least.

Here’s the reasons you are allowed to travel:

  • Shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person.

  • Go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home.

  • Exercise, or for outdoor recreation in a public outdoor space – this can be on your own, with your household (or support bubble,) or with one other person (in which case you should stay 2m apart). You should minimise the amount of time spent outside your home, and you should not travel outside your local area.

  • Meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary, but only if you are legally permitted to form one.

  • Seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse).

  • Attend education or school or further education.

  • Attend university or other higher education – for those eligible.

  • Attend, or take a child to, childcare – for those eligible.

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The roadmap in full – when things may change

March 29

  • Rule of six or two households of any size permitted to mix outdoors. Indoors mixing still banned.

  • Outdoor sports and leisure facilities can reopen.

  • Organised outdoor sports allowed for children and adults.

  • Stay at home legal restriction replaced with a “minimise travel” guidance, with no holidays permitted.

  • Outdoor parent and child groups can take place (up to 15 parents).

Step Two

No earlier than April 12

  • Indoor leisure (including gyms) open for individual or household group use.

  • Rule of six or two households outdoors. No household mixing indoors.

  • Outdoor attractions, such as zoos, theme parks and drive-in cinemas permitted to reopen.

  • Community facilities such as libraries can reopen.

  • Personal care premises, all non-essential retail, outdoor hospitality can reopen.

  • All children’s activities can resume, including indoor parent and child groups (up to 15 parents).

  • Domestic overnight stays (household only) can resume.

  • Self contained accommodation such as holiday lets can reopen for households only.

  • Funerals are limited to 30 people attending, with wakes, weddings and receptions limited to 15 people.

  • Minimise travel guidance remains in place, with holidays abroad still banned. Domestic holidays can take place.

  • Event pilots (such as theatres or sports attendance) will take place.

Step Three

No earlier than May 17

  • Indoor entertainment (such as cinemas) and attractions can reopen.

  • Up to 30 people can meet outdoors.

  • Indoor visits are limited to the rule of six or two households inside (subject to review).

  • Domestic overnight stays, not restricted to a household.

  • Organised indoor adult sport can resume.

  • Most significant life events restricted to 30 people (such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, funerals etc).

  • The remaining outdoor entertainment (including performances) can take place.

  • The remaining accommodation can reopen (such as hotels).

  • Some large events, except for pilots can take place subject to capacity limits.

  • International travel may take place (subject to review)

Step Four

No earlier than June 21, subject to review

  • No legal limits on social contact.

  • Nightclubs can reopen.

  • Larger events can take place.

  • No legal limits on attendance at life events.

Devon Live