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Face mask flouters could be fined up to £3,200

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The government has upped enforcement action for repeat offenders who flout the face covering rules as it announces an easement of lockdown measures.

The government has toughened the enforcement action available to Transport for London and the police for people who fail to comply with the law to wear face coverings in indoor settings where no valid exemption is given.

Fines of £100 can be issued (£50 if paid within 14 days) but fines for repeat offenders will double at each offence, up to a maximum of £3,200.

Face coverings over your mouth and nose are mandatory in a number of indoor settings, including:

  • On public transport
  • Shops, shopping centres and supermarkets
  • Premises offering legal or financial services such as banks and solicitors
  • Health and beauty branches
  • Visitor attractions, places of worship, community centres as well as libraries.

Further, the Department of Health & Social Care said people should wear face coverings in other indoor places where social distancing may be difficult and where you’ll come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.

On the spot fines for hosting or facilitating illegal gatherings of more than 30 people will also be introduced, up to a maximum of £10,000.

The tougher enforcement measures come as Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed plans to ease lockdown further.

From tomorrow, Saturday 15 August (except for specific areas where local restrictions are in place), bowling alleys, skating rinks and casinos will be able to reopen. Indoor play and soft play centres, beauty salons, tattoo studios, spas and barbers across England will be able to offer all close contact services and treatments.

Wedding receptions for up to 30 people can resume – and indoor performances with socially distanced audiences can recommence.

Johnson said: “Most people in this country are following the rules and doing their bit to control the virus, but we must remain focused and we cannot be complacent. That is why we are strengthening the enforcement powers available to use against those who repeatedly flout the rules.

“At every stage I have said our plan to reopen society and the economy is conditional and that it relies on continued progress against the virus.

“We are able to announce some further changes which will allow more people to return to work and the public to get back to more of the things they have missed. However, as I have always said, we will not hesitate to put on the brakes if required, or to continue to implement local measures to help to control the spread of the virus.”

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