Coronavirus (COVID-19) regulations: compliance and penalties

The current health protection regulations have been put in place to help reduce the rate of transmission of COVID-19. We have a shared responsibility to adhere to the regulations in order to keep ourselves and others safe.

Regulation compliance

Everyone is legally required to comply with the regulations. Where people do not comply with the regulations, appropriate authorities such as the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), Border Force and local councils have the powers to enforce the law.

This means that if you commit an offence by failing to comply with the regulations without reasonable excuse, the appropriate authority will consider a suitable action. This may at first be advice and guidance, or it may involve a fixed penalty or a fine on summary prosecution.

For some offences, there is a fixed penalty of £200, which will be reduced to £100 if paid within 14 days, or you could face a fine of up to £5,000 if you are taken to court. If you have already received a £200 fixed penalty notice for an offence you may face summary prosecution if you repeat that offence.

In some cases, businesses and venues that breach the regulations may be subject to fixed penalties of £1,000 or a fine in court of up to £10,000.

Prohibition notices may also be imposed.

In addition, if you fail to provide information on arrival after international travel, there is a fixed penalty of £60, which will be reduced to £30 if paid within 14 days, or you could face a fine of up to £5,000 at court.

If you have already received a fixed penalty notice for this offence, the amount will increase to £120 and double on each further repeat offence up to a maximum of £960.

Fines

Gathering in a public place       

£200 fixed penalty that reduces to £100 if paid within 14 days or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Gathering in a private dwelling 

£200 fixed penalty that reduces to £100 if paid within 14 days or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Not wearing a face covering on public transport (unless you are exempt)

£200 fixed penalty that reduces to £100 if paid within 14 days or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Not wearing a face covering in certain other indoor settings (unless you are exempt)   

£200 fixed penalty that reduces to £100 if paid within 14 days or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Not closing a business as required  

£1,000 fixed penalty or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £10,000.

Breaching the early closing requirements for hospitality

Owners of premises - £1,000 fixed penalty or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £10,000.

Customers - £200 fixed penalty that reduces to £100 if paid within 14 days or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Not implementing measures to maintain social distancing

£1,000 fixed penalty or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £10,000.

Organising a large gathering or an unlicensed music event

£1,000 fixed penalty or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £10,000.

Requirements upon travellers to provide information

£60 fixed penalty that reduces to £30 if paid within 14 days or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

The fixed penalty can double to a maximum of £960.

Requirements upon travellers to self-isolate      

£1,000 fixed penalty or punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £5,000.

Requirements upon travel operators to provide public health information

Punishable on summary conviction by a fine not exceeding £10,000.

 

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