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World Thousands fined for breaking 'unclear' lockdown rules, MPs warn

01:41  23 september  2020
01:41  23 september  2020 Source:   news.sky.com

Lancashire expected to be placed under tighter lockdown measures

  Lancashire expected to be placed under tighter lockdown measures Lancashire is to be the latest part of the UK to face strict coronavirus lockdown rules - with drastic new curbs being introduced this weekend, Sky News understands. Health Secretary Matt Hancock has told senior MPs from the county that he will announce the clampdown in the morning and the rules will come into force on Saturday.The coronavirus restrictions, similar to those being introduced in North East England, will cover the whole of Lancashire with the exception of two thirds of the seaside resort of Blackpool.

Thousands of people are being hit with fines for breaches of coronavirus lockdown regulations that are “ unclear and ambiguous”, a parliamentary committee has warned . The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it was “unacceptable” that “many thousands ” were receiving fixed penalty notices (FPNs)

Thousands of Britons are being fined for breaking ' unclear and ambiguous,' Covid-19 lockdown rules , a committee of MPs has warned . The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it was 'unacceptable' that 'many thousands ' were receiving fixed penalty notices (FPNs) despite evidence

Britons are being fined for breaches of coronavirus lockdown regulations that are "unclear and ambiguous", a parliamentary committee has warned.

New local lockdown rules announced in parts of North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire

  New local lockdown rules announced in parts of North West, Midlands and West Yorkshire Parts of the North West, West Yorkshire and the Midlands have been placed under further localised coronavirus restrictions. The new measures, prompted by a fast rise in COVID-19 cases, have been confirmed by the Department for Health following consultation with local councils and MPs.

Fines for breaking the rule of six and for failing to wear a face covering are increasing to £200 for a first offence. At the same time Tory MPs warned there must not be another 'major lockdown '. They said the decision to ditch the back to work drive will cause widespread 'dismay' among workers who

Coronavirus: Thousands fined for breaking ' unclear and ambiguous' lockdown rules , MPs warn . ' Broken Hearts Gallery': Geraldine Viswanathan and Dacre Montgomery on state of romcoms (exclusive).

The Joint Committee on Human Rights said it was "unacceptable" that "many thousands" were receiving fixed penalty notices (FPNs) despite evidence the police did not fully understand their powers.

It added that the way regulations were being enforced by the police was having a "disproportionate impact" on young men from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Currently, there is no realistic way for people to challenge FPNs, which could result in fines in excess of £10,000 in England.

a person driving a car: There is evidence that police do not fully understand their powers, the committee said © Other There is evidence that police do not fully understand their powers, the committee said

"This will invariably lead to injustice as members of the public who have been unfairly targeted with an FPN have no means of redress and police will know that their actions are unlikely to be scrutinised," the committee said.

Many of the regulations were "confusingly named", the committee warned, which makes it difficult for people to establish what they can and cannot do.

Life's a beach for Melbourne during lockdown as people flock to sand

  Life's a beach for Melbourne during lockdown as people flock to sand Melburnians took advantage of the easing of lockdown restrictions with many heading to the beach to soak up the sun - while anti-lockdown protesters were arrested just ten minutes away.Dozens of residents were seen at Elwood Beach, in Brighton, on Saturday as the mercury jumped to a warm 26C - with most wearing face masks as they soaked up the sun.

Coronavirus: Thousands fined for breaking ' unclear and ambiguous' lockdown rules , MPs warn . Boris Johnson has said he does not want to put the country into a second national lockdown - but he has warned that he may need to "intensify things" to bring the rate of infections down .

People can also be fined for flouting the recent ' Rule of Six' measures - or for breaking a mandatory rule on wearing face coverings in shops, which But recently, there have already been a number of high profile fines for people breaking lockdown rules . Fines were slapped on those organising

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The committee advised the government to call for greater clarity on the rules and "distinguish between advice, guidance and the law" as regulations change on average once a week.

"In particular, more must be done to make the up-to-date regulations themselves (not only guidance) clearly accessible online, particularly as the law has changed, on average, once a week," the committee said.

Gallery: Coronavirus outbreak around the world (Photo Services)

"It ought to be straightforward for a member of the public to find out what the current criminal law is, nationally and in their local area, without having to trawl through multiple sets of confusingly named regulations."

Committee chairwoman Harriet Harman said: "Confusion over what is law and what is merely guidance has left citizens open to disproportionate and unequal levels of punishment for breaking the rules, and unfortunately, it seems that once again, this is overtly affecting BAME individuals.

"The government must learn from these mistakes to ensure that any additional lockdowns do not unfairly impact specific groups."

In an interview with Sky News, Ms Harman said there "must be an opportunity to appeal or review in the way that you would for a parking fine".

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock speaks to media outside the BBC Broadcasting House in central London before appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on 20 September, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images) © WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock speaks to media outside the BBC Broadcasting House in central London before appearing on The Andrew Marr Show on 20 September, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

"Obviously the government are announcing these fines because they want to throw all of the weight that there is of government behind ensuring that these restrictive measures work. That is the sole objective of it," she said.

She added that government feels it is "necessary to get the message across that everybody must abide by the rules."

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News that the UK is facing a "tipping point" where "more restrictive measures" could be brought in to slow the spread of coronavirus.

He told Sophy Ridge On Sunday he was "worried" too many people are breaching self-isolation guidance, leading to the government making it illegal in England.

Mr Hancock said people should report on their neighbours for breaking any of the emergency COVID-19 laws.

Asked if he would, the cabinet minister said: "Yes - and everybody should... Everybody has got a part to play in this."

A government spokesperson said they had worked closely with the police throughout the pandemic, and officers had enforced regulations only as a last resort.

They added: "Both Houses (of Parliament) have opportunities to scrutinise and debate all regulations, which must be approved by both Houses within 28 days to remain in force. This is the same way all lockdown regulations have been made and none have been voted down."

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Stay alert to stop coronavirus spreading - here is the latest government guidance. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.


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Commons Speaker quashes Tory rebels' bid - but warns government over COVID rules .
An effort by Conservative rebels to force the government to give MPs a greater say over COVID-19 restrictions has been quashed by the Speaker of the House of Commons. © Getty House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle accused the government of showing 'contempt' for parliament Sir Lindsay Hoyle told MPs he would not allow any attempts to alter emergency coronavirus legislation, introduced at the start of the pandemic in March, when the Commons is asked to renew its approval for it later on Wednesday.

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