Boris Johnson increases penalties for those refusing to wear a face covering in shops and public transport

22 September 2020, 13:11 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 13:20

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

Those breaking the rule of six and refusing to wear a face covering in settings where one is mandatory will be subject to a £200 fine in England.

In a speech to the House of Commons today, Boris Johnson announced tougher restrictions in response to a rise in coronavirus cases in England.

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The government are bringing in tougher penalties for those flouting the 'rule of six' or refusing to wear face masks in settings where they are mandatory - including shops and public transport.

Previously, those who broke these rules were subject to a £100 fine, but this will increase to £200.

Boris Johnson said we're at a 'perilous turning point' in the fight against coronavirus
Boris Johnson said we're at a 'perilous turning point' in the fight against coronavirus. Picture: PA

Speaking about his reasoning for increasing the penalty, he said that there is 'nothing more frustrating' for those who comply with the rules to see people 'brazenly' flouting them.

He also introduced a number of new rules - which include asking workers to work from home where possible, permitted wedding guests reduced to 15, pubs closing at 10pm, and retail staff having to wear face coverings at work.

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The Prime Minister said we are at a 'perilous turning point' in the pandemic, and that hospital admissions have more than doubled over the last fortnight.

Face masks are mandatory on public transport in England
Face masks are mandatory on public transport in England. Picture: PA

He said: "We always knew that, while might have driven the virus into retreat, the prospect of a second wave was real - and I am sorry to say we have reached a perilous turning point."

He also revealed that the Covid alert level has increased from three to four, adding: "This is the moment when we must act if we can curb the number of daily infections and reduce the R rate to one."

Mr Johnson also said: "This is by no means a return to the full lockdown of March, we’re not issuing a general instruction to stay at home - schools colleges and unis stay open - businesses can stay open in a Covid-compliant way, but we must take action to curb the spread."

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