All the reasons you’re allowed to leave self-isolation - as tough new laws come into force

New self-isolation laws come into force across England today.

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 11:39 am

From today, people in England will be required by law to self-isolate if they test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace – and you could be fined thousands for not doing so.

The news comes after stricter measures have already been implemented in parts of the country to deal with the increase in new positive coronavirus cases, as well as the ‘rule of six’ and 10pm curfews for bars, pubs and restaurants.

Today, police have legally been given the power to take people back to their homes or accommodation and can give out fines up to £10,000 for those disobeying the law, as well as a £4,000 fine for people found socialising with others when they should, by law, be self-isolating.

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Fines for law breakers start at £1,000 for first-time offences, and it is illegal to give out false information about people you have been in with contact with.

People on low incomes who cannot work whilst self isolating will be able to get a £500 payment to cover loss of income.

NHS Providers chief executive Chris Hopson said on BBC Breakfast that NHS Test and Trace "has now become as important in a sense as catching criminals, fighting fires and treating heart attacks.”

He said: "It's a key public service and if it doesn't work, then we all suffer

Police have the right to check people are complying with the rules in virus hotspots, and could fine people found breaching the new laws. Picture: Chris Etchells

"We've all got a role to play in making this service work - if you've got symptoms you need to get a test quickly; if the test turns out positive you've got to self-isolate, you've then got to pass your contacts on to Test and Trace."

He said: "The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they're at risk of passing on coronavirus.

"And so nobody underestimates just how important this is, new regulations will mean you are legally obliged to do so if you have the virus or have been asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.

"People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines. We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives."

However, there are a number of exemptions to the new self-isolation laws.

Are you exempt?

You are exempt from the new laws if:

You are seeking urgent medical assistance, or have an urgent pet appointment. You are attending court and signing on for bail. You are attending the funeral of a close family member. You are buying basic necessities such as food or medical supplies for those in the same household, including pets, when it is not possible to obtain these by any other means. You are accessing public help, such as social services or support for victims of crime. You have made the decision to move to another suitable location.