Q: What is the new law?
People in England are required by law to self-isolate if they test positive for Covid-19 or are informed by NHS Test and Trace that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.
Q: What does self-isolate mean?
Stay at home and do not leave the house for 14 days.
Q: When does the law come into effect?
Q: What happens if I don't self-isolate?
Fines start at £1,000. They can increase up to £10,000 and prosecution may be sought for repeat offenders and the most serious breaches (e.g. business owners who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not come to work).
Q: What happens if I have to self-isolate but can't work from home?
A one-off £500 payment will be made by local authorities to those on lower incomes who cannot work from home and have lost income as a result.
Q: Who is eligible for the payment?
Employed and self-employed people currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit. Individuals will receive this payment on top of any Statutory Sick Pay or benefits they receive.
Q: How will the new law be enforced?
NHS Test and Trace call handlers will make regular contact with self-isolators and escalate suspicions of non-compliance to the police and local authorities. Information from people who report others for non-compliance will be investigated. Police resources will be used to check compliance in highest incidence areas.
Q: Is anyone exempt from the law?
Those who need to escape from illness or harm during their isolation, or require care.