BORIS Johnson has doubled the fine for anyone who fails to wear a face mask to £200 – and ordered people to wear them in restaurants and pubs too.
The PM also revealed yesterday he has made it mandatory for staff in pubs, restaurants and shops along with anyone getting a cab as part of new measures to stop the spread of the virus.
In a major address in the House of Commons, the PM warned yesterday that the UK have reached a “perilous turning point” and the time to act is now.
Mr Johnson continued: “There is nothing more frustrating for the vast majority, the law-abiding majority that do comply than the sight of a few brazenly defying the rules.
“So these rules will be enforced by tighter penalties.
“The penalty for failing to wear a mask or breaking the rule of six will now double to £200 for a first offence.
He added: “We will extend the requirement to wear face masks for all people who work in retail, taxis and all private hire vehicles, and staff and customers in indoor hospitality.
“Except where seated to eat or drink.”
It means that people will have to cover up when they go into their local or out for dinner – or when they need to nip to the loo.
Face masks are already compulsory for anyone going into shops, supermarkets, using public transport and leisure venues including cinemas.
Under 11s don’t have to wear them.
The new stricter rules have been brought in to try and stop the tide of new infections as a second wave of coronavirus threatens to grip hold of the nation.
Many restaurants and pubs have already given their staff face masks to wear but others have just put up screens over the bar to try and stop the spread of the virus.
But they will be forced to wear them from Thursday.
Pubs and restaurants will also have a 10pm curfew from Thursday and they will only be able to offer table service.
The PM warned many of the new cases have come from people getting too close to one another in pubs and other social gatherings.
But Mr Johnson has staved off pressure from Cabinet to shut the hospitality industry completely.
This evening at 8pm Mr Johnson will address the nation with a live TV clip too.
He announced this afternoon new rules for England – but Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will take similar steps. The plans include:
- A 10pm curfew for all pubs and hospitality venues will come in from Thursday – where doors will have to be closed
- And they will have to offer table service only – except for takeaway deliveries which can continue
- Tougher enforcement powers for shutting down venues which don’t force people to stay apart
- The military could be called in by police to help enforce the new rules
- People should work from home if they can – or if their workplace isn’t covid-safe but MPs will stay in Parliament
- Weddings are going to be slashed back from 30 down to 15 – but funerals will stay on the same rules
- Facemasks will be made compulsory for staff in hospitality and close contact places – and taxis too
- Team sports will be curbed inside, banning five-aside footie and other games
- The return to live sport planned for October 1 now will not go ahead
- Businesses will have a legal requirement to enforce the rule of six
- The fines will DOUBLE for not wearing face masks to £200
- As announced at the weekend, there will be fines for Brits who defy orders to isolate
Brits who break the rules on face masks can be fined £200.
The new rules add another protocol hospitality venues will have to comply with – or risk being shut down.
The PM warned that businesses could be “fined or closed” if they breach the rules.
They already are expected to ensure everyone who comes in signs the NHS track and trace form in case there is an outbreak.
The planned return of spectators to sports stadiums on October 1 has also been cancelled.
There are mounting fears that social mixing between households inside could be banned after it was outlawed in Northern Ireland.
That seems increasingly likely after the Government’s top scientists’ dire warning that people could be ordered to stay away from family and friends — rules already in place in some parts of the country.
The Covid threat level was raised from three to four yesterday, meaning the virus is running amok across the country — signalling six months of further misery.
Chief medical adviser Chris Whitty warned everyone has a part to play in stopping the disease, insisting: “This is not someone else’s problem, this is all of our problems.”
Masks could even be made compulsory outdoors if the UK follows some of the measures brought in in Europe.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, warned yesterday the nation was on the same track as France and Spain.
In Paris everyone has to wear a face masks at all times – including outdoors.
And most regions of Spain also requires face masks in all public indoor and outdoor areas.