It will be law for individuals to self-isolate if instructed by NHS Test and Trace from 28 September to curb coronavirus rates.
The Government announced there would be a £500 payment for workers self-isolating from this date, amid speculation of further coronavirus restrictions for pubs.
There will also be fines for people not following NHS instructions – which usually ask those with confirmed coronavirus or symptoms to isolate for 10 days and their household members to do so for 14 days.
Workers could be fined £1,000 for not self-isolating, similar to the travel quarantine rules.
Who is eligible for the payment?
- Those 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
- Employed or self-employed individuals
- Individuals unable to work from home and will lose income as a result
- Those instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, for 10 or 14 days depending on the circumstances.
What’s more, repeat offenders and businesses found preventing staff from self-isolating could be fined up to £10,000.
The Government said just under 4m low income workers would be eligible for this payment, helping them self-isolate without financial worries.
Local authorities will begin payments by 12 October and payments can be backdated to 28 September.
What evidence do local authorities need?
Those applying for the payment – which can be done by contacting a local council – must show four pieces of evidence.
A coalition of leaders in areas under localised restrictions had previously called on the Government for a 'Time Out to Help Out', to ensure workers did not lose out on any income if they had to self-isolate.
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham welcomed the announcement of the payment.
Together with @MetroMayorSteve, we have been calling for this for months. We would like to have seen it in place sooner but, that said, the Government has listened and done the right thing. https://t.co/2X1If10m1O— Andy Burnham (@AndyBurnhamGM) September 20, 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they’re at risk of passing on coronavirus.
"We need to do all we can to control the spread of this virus, to prevent the most vulnerable people from becoming infected, and to protect the NHS and save lives.
“And while most people are doing their absolute level best to comply with the rules, I don’t want to see a situation where people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate.”
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Any support for workers self-isolating which reduces the strain on very hard-pressed businesses is very welcome.”