From 28 September, people will be required by law to self-isolate if they, or someone they have been in close contact with, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Those who are found to be breaking self-isolation rules can be fined, with fines starting at £1,000 and rising to £10,000 for the most gregious breaches.

A new package has been announced to support those on lower incomes who cannot work from home as a result of having to self-isolate.

Recognising that self-isolation is one of the most powerful tools for controlling the transmission of COVID-19, this new Test and Trace Support payment of £500 will ensure that those on low incomes are able to self-isolate without worry about their finances.

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.

Local Authorities will be working quickly to set up these self-isolation support schemes and we expect 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 Barnet. More information about eligibility and how to apply for support will be published shortly.

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.

Many people are following the rules around self-isolation, but these steps will make sure more do and help ensure the public do not unknowingly spread the virus.