Published On: Thu, Mar 26th, 2020

Coronavirus: Is £30 too small a fine for those breaking lockdown laws? – POLL | UK | News

Under new laws announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in his address to the nation, Britons should only leave the house if it is an absolute necessity. This includes for food shopping, for essential travel, or for one method of exercise per day. It has also been forbidden to congregate in groups larger than two people in public. Anyone who is found breaking these rules could face an on the spot fine of £30.

But many have complained about the paltry sum, compared to other countries who have adopted a stricter approach.

In Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has vowed to issue fines between 400 to 3,000 euros for violating self-isolation rules.

And the leader has decreed up to five years in prison will be handed down to anyone who breaks quarantine.

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According to the Italian Government, these measures are so strict as they consider causing the epidemic to spread to be a crime against public health.

Mr Conte said: “The more we respect the rules, the sooner we move on.

“We hope to ease the grip of the restrictive measures and overcome them very soon.”

Other countries have also been tough on lockdown rules.

READ MORE: Vandals who attack delivery trucks during crisis should be punished

But many Britons have taken to social media to ridicule the fee, and express their outrage.

One social media user said: “A £30 fine – is that all?

“A parking fine is more than that, and that doesn’t endanger hundreds of people – are we actually taking lockdown seriously?”

Another remarked: “Anyone’s life is worth more than £30. Life is priceless.

“The fine should be 1000s of pounds in jail for the duration of the coronavirus situation because you are a potential manslaughterer if you don’t obey the lockdown.”

And a third wrote: “A £30 fine is not sufficient enough for breaking coronavirus lockdown rules.

“It needs to be an amount that will actually make people think twice about going out! People will spend £30 on their tea!”

A Government spokesman has said the £30 sum has the potential to rise, however, action has not yet been taken.

He said: “The Prime Minister issued a clear instruction on behalf of the government on the actions the public are required to take to help prevent the spread of the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

“As with existing laws, the overwhelming majority of the public can be expected to follow the rules without any need for enforcement action. We would expect that compliance to begin immediately.”

He added the fee was being kept under review and could be significantly increased if necessary.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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