As part of the Government’s strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, new laws and penalties were brought into effect from Monday 28 September 2020 which include doubling the fine for not wearing a face mask and escalating fines for repeat offenders.

Sukhdip Randhawa of Kangs Solicitors outlines the position.

Should you require assistance in respect of any prosecution, potential prosecution or imposition of any fine following any alleged breach of the current law, please feel free to call us for an initial no obligation confidential discussion:

The Offences and Penalties | Kangs Covid Offences Solicitors

Face masks

  • The fine for not wearing a face mask currently stands at two hundred pounds for the first offence and in the event of repeat offences the fine doubles for each subsequent breach up to a maximum fine of six thousand four hundred pounds. 
  • Currently, face coverings must be worn when shopping at shops, supermarkets and shopping centres, when travelling on public transport, taxis and at transport hubs, entertainment venues and places of worship.
  • However, other venues are also subject to the restrictions and at all venues a face mask must be worn when entering and must not be removed until after exiting unless there is a ‘reasonable excuse” for so doing.    
  • However, at the date of this article, a national ‘Second Lockdown’ in England has commenced on 5 November 2020 and access to some of these venues is prohibited.
  • Police are legally allowed to issue a fine ‘on the spot’ if they ‘reasonably believe’ that an offence has been committed which must be paid within twenty-eight days and failure to pay will result in the issue of a court summons.

Self -isolation

  • Anyone testing positive for Covid-19, must stay where they live and not leave for ten days from when the symptoms started. Failure to fully observe self-isolation will result in a fine of one thousand pounds, with two repeat offences attracting fines of two thousand and four thousand pounds respectively with a fourth offence being penalised with a fine of ten thousand pounds.
  • For those coming into contact with somebody who has tested positive, a fourteen day isolation period must be commenced immediately.
  • Additionally, it is now a crime to ‘recklessly leave self-isolation’ if the life of another person is potentially placed in danger.  This offence will result in a fine of four thousand pounds for a first offence and ten thousand pounds for a second offence. 
  • To ‘recklessly leave self-isolation’ an individual must have:  
  • left self-isolation without reasonable excuse,
  • expected to come into close contact with another person or group,
  • actually come into close contact with another person or group and
  • been ‘reckless as to the consequences of that close contact for the health of that other person’.

Making a false claim that somebody else has Coronavirus

  • It is a criminal offence to ‘knowingly falsely state’ to test and trace or council officers that ‘someone is a close contact of a person who has tested positive for Coronavirus’.  This offence attracts a fine of one thousand pounds for the first offence which rises to a maximum of ten thousand pounds for a fourth offence.  This offence has been introduced not only to prevent malicious reporting but to prevent anyone falsely claiming five hundred pounds by way of an ‘isolation payment’.    
  • It is a criminal offence to ‘knowingly give false information’ about self-isolation to the NHS Trust, Test and Trace or to the local council’s public health team, such as by failing to declare an individual in your household who should be be self-isolating. A first-time offence will attract a fine of one thousand pounds rising to the maximum of ten thousand pounds for a fourth offence.  

Children in self-isolation

The responsible adult must ensure that, where necessary, a child must self-isolate and inform Test and Trace or the council the address at which the child will self-isolate. Fines for breach can rise to ten thousand pounds. 


  • An employee can be fined fifty pounds for failing to tell their employer if they have been ordered to self-isolate.
  • An employer may be fined up to ten thousand pounds for repeat offences of ‘knowingly allowing’ the worker to ‘attend any place’ when they are isolating for the purposes of employment.

Who Can I Contact For Help? | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors

Please feel free to contact our team through any of the solicitors named below who will be able to provide you with some initial advice and assistance.

Sukhdip Randhawa
0121 449 9888 | 020 7936 6396 

Helen Holder
020 7936 6396 0121 449 9888