UK to fine quarantine-breakers up to USD13,000

LONDON — Britain’s government will fine people who refuse an order to self-isolate up to GBP10,000 (USD13,000) as the country sees a sharp surge in coronavirus infections.

The new rule obliges people to self-isolate if they test positive for the coronavirus or are traced as a close contact. The rule comes into effect on September 28.

The government will help those on lower incomes who face a loss of earnings as a result of self-isolating with a one-time support payment of GBP500 (USD633).

The latest figures show that new daily coronavirus cases for Britain have risen to 4,422, the highest since early May. An official estimate also shows that new infections and hospital admissions are doubling every seven to eight days in the United Kingdom (UK).

The Conservative government is widely expected to impose further restrictions after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed that Britain is seeing a second wave of infections, following the trend elsewhere in Europe.

People sit outside on a street closed to traffic to try to reduce the spread of coronavirus so restaurants can continue to stay open, in the Soho area of central London. PHOTO: AP