A new law came into effect on 28 September 2020 which will make breaching self-isolation rules a crime.

This will be punishable with fines up to £10,000 and will also be issued to those who prevent others from self-isolating. For example, a business owner who threatens staff with redundancy if they don’t come into work.

In a bid to support those on lower incomes who can’t work from home and will lose income as a result, eligible workers will receive a £500 payment to help cover lost wages while self-isolating.

You’re required to self-isolate if you test positive for COVID-19 or you’re informed by NHS Test and Trace that you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive. This means that you will not be allowed to leave your house for 14 days.


Who’s eligible for this payment?

Just under four million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for this payment, which will be available to those who are required to self-isolate from 28 September.

Employed and self-employed people currently receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit will be eligible for the £500 payment. You will receive this payment on top of any Statutory Sick Pay or benefits you receive.

Local Authorities will be working to set up these self-isolation support schemes and the government expects them to be in place by 12 October. Those who start to self-isolate from 28 September will receive backdated payments once the scheme is set up in their local authority.

This financial support comes as the government places a legal requirement on people to self-isolate when instructed to by NHS Test and Trace and introduces tougher fines for breaking the rules.

For more information about the payment and eligibility, please head to gov.uk.

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