NORTHERNERS face fines of up to £3,200 if they break local lockdown rules after new legislation came into force to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
Police now have the power to enforce the new rules, which apply to all the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester, parts of Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
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The restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks, with the first review set to take place by August 19.
Rules banning people from meeting others from different households were already effective from last Friday, but the legislation making them legally enforceable has been published today and will be valid from tomorrow.
The new legislation prevents people from two or more different households from participating in gatherings in a private house in the affected areas, with limited exceptions.
The exceptions include if the meeting is for work or education purposes, to provide emergency assistance or to facilitate a house move.
Anyone not respecting the rules will commit an offence and can be fined.
Fines will start at £100 for a first offence, but the amount will be halved if paid within fourteen days.
The amount will rise up to £3,200 for multiple offences.
The new legislation gives a ‘relevant person’, for example a constable, the power to disperse gatherings, tell people to return home or remove someone from a gathering.
The restrictions – or parts of them – will be ended once the Health Secretary considers them not necessary to prevent the spread of the virus or protect the public against it.
Matt Hancock announced on Thursday, July 30, that Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire would see their lockdown rules restricted from midnight.
He said he was introducing the clampdown for 4.5million people with a “heavy heart” – but had been "chilled" by soaring infection rates in northern England.
And he said the spread in nine areas – including the cities of Manchester and Bradford – was “largely due to households meeting and not abiding by social distancing rules”.
On Sunday, a major incident was declared in Greater Manchester after coronavirus infection rates rocketed.
Senior figures from the police, local authorities and public health chiefs scrambled an emergency ‘gold command’ meeting to ramp up the region’s response to the outbreak.
The declaration of a major incident means the police can even draft in the army if they need support.
Greater Manchester mayor Mr Burham has called for the Government to reintroduce shielding measures, which came to an end in England on July 31.
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In a tweet, he said: "I listened to the Government when they came to me late on Thursday and asked for our support for new restrictions.
"I am now asking them to listen to us: please reinstate the shielding policy in Greater Manchester from first thing tomorrow.
"Failure to do so is wrong and inhumane."
Fixed penalty notices
The first fine will be £100, but that amount will go up for repeated offences.
The amount specified as the fixed penalty is to be:
- in the case of the second fixed penalty notice received, £200;
- in the case of the third fixed penalty notice received, £400;
- in the case of the fourth fixed penalty notice received, £800;
- in the case of the fifth fixed penalty notice received, £1,600;
- in the case of the sixth and subsequent fixed penalty notices, £3,200.
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