The new laws coming into effect in October and how they will affect you in Sheffield
The Government has hastily – and quietly – introduced several new coronavirus rules, laws and punishments.
Some of the new rules come into force immediately, while others will begin in October. Here’s a breakdown of what you need to know.
New self-isolation rules
From 28 September, people will be required by law to self-isolate. There will be a payment of £500 for those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result. Anyone who breaches this new law without a "reasonable excuse" will get a £4,000 fine for their first offence - rising to £10,000 if it is their second or third.
The Government says this could include business owners who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work, sending a clear message this will not be tolerated. You could also be fined £1000 for maliciously forcing others into isolation by falsely telling authorities that they could have come into contact with the virus.
There are also fines for people who try to go into work when they should be in isolation and who fail to tell their employer about their situation.
Changes to the furlough scheme
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will close on 31 October and replaced by the Job Support Scheme, which requires workers to fulfil at least one third of their contracted hours to be eligible to get financial help.
HMRC is now urging those who have taken advantage of the system to voluntarily confess to furlough fraud through a 90-day ‘correction window’. HMRC has promised leniency to firms who shop themselves in - but those who do not risk hefty financial penalties and even prosecution.
More restrictions on the hospitality sector
Pubs and other venues in England are also banned from playing loud music or allowing singing or dancing. They have also been banned from playing music on the premises louder than 85 decibels.
Live music performances are exempt from this rule.
There are a host of restrictions in place in areas currently subject to local lockdowns, with more towns and cities likely to face the same fate soon as infections continue to rise. These include restrictions on gatherings between different households, the opening of pubs, bars and restaurants and travel restrictions. They are enforced with fines.