Government to reinforce COVID Secure guidance with new direct legal obligations

To ensure workplaces that remain open prevent the spread of Coronavirus, the Government will introduce a direct legal obligation for businesses in England that requires them to follow the latest guidance to the letter.

During his speech to Parliament on the new measures, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said that businesses could face fines and potential closure if they were found to be in breach of official COVID Secure guidance.

Alongside this new legal obligation, the Prime Minister confirmed that it would now be mandatory for retail workers to wear a mask in the workplace at all times, as well as taxi drivers and their passengers.

The Government will also increase the initial fine for not wearing a mask in required locations, such as shops, supermarkets, public transport, taxis and indoor hospitality from £100 to £200. Fines relating to the ‘rule of six’ will also increase at the same rate.

Businesses that are concerned about the financial implications of these legal obligations and the penalties involved should seek advice at the earliest opportunity.

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