Brits risk fines for having friends over for cuppa as new lockdown rules kick in

Police will be doing random spot checks on coronavirus -infected people to make sure they are staying home – and slap them with a £10,000 fine if they repeatedly refuse.

So Brits risk fines for having friends over to their homes for cuppa or a chat.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has demanded officers check on people who have tested positive or are suspected Covid-19 carriers to ensure they are adhering to the laws.

It will include people who have been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace app told to isolate for 10 days.

Ms Patel is also encouraging people to snoop on their neighbours and report any rule-breaking to the police's non emergency line 101.

But police chiefs fear they will be inundated with calls and warned they can barely even cope with enforcing the new "rule of six".

John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation, told BBC Radio4 this morning: "We're struggling now if I'm honest, certainly my colleagues are, because of just the daily pressures.

"Here's the reality – in a typical large town or city centre, I think the public think we have hundreds and hundreds of police officers to police.

"We probably have a handful, and we have to prioritise. So what we will find in a city centre, some officers will be dealing with 999 calls, crimes in action, people being seriously assaulted, that you might only have one or two people in a busy high street at 10pm when hundreds and hundreds of people are coming out onto the streets.

"Now my colleagues will do the best they can to encourage and coerce people to move on, but it's really difficult, and all you need is a hostile group who turns against those officers and the resources for that town centre or that city centre are swallowed up dealing with that one incident. It happens all the time. It happens in every city."

  • Pubs and restaurants caused under 3% of recent coronavirus cases, figures show

The new legal duty to self-isolate has, like other coronavirus restrictions, not been subject to a vote in Parliament.

PM Boris Johnson is under increasing pressure to give MPs more of a say rather then steamrollering ahead without agreement across the board.

Tory backbenchers are reportedly furious over the 'rule of six' without debate in Parliament.

A second wave of coronavirus infections is gaining momentum across the country.

Ministers are reportedly about to shut all pubs and restaurants across huge swathes of the North and potentially London.

The two-week lockdown measures were laid out for PM Boris Johnson last week but he held back on enforcing them, The Times reported.

A top government source said: "The nation and the party wasn't ready for us to go any further last week.

“There wasn't a wide enough understanding of how substantial the second wave could be.

"Unlike the first lockdown, nobody has seen pictures of body bags in Spain or France on the TV yet, which had a very powerful effect. You have to take people with you.

"Tougher measures on social interaction will have to come though. They're inevitable in some parts if you look at the numbers."

Britain recorded another 17 deaths yesterday as the tally of confirmed cases hit 434,969.

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