The Metropolitan Police have said they will no longer reason with people who refuse to wear masks without a good reason in the new coronavirus lockdown.
The service said on Wednesday morning that it will also fine everyone who attends parties, unlicensed music events or other large illegal gatherings, instead of just the organisers, as part of a plan to punish rule breakers quicker.
Officers will also be “more inquisitive” with people when they are out and about in London, because there are “fewer” reasons to leave the home, the force said.
Anyone without a legitimate reason to be out can “expect officers to move more quickly to enforcement” and people who refuse to wear a face covering without an excuse will be fined.
A Met statement added: “Although officers will still apply the 4 E’s approach of engaging, explaining, and encouraging – only then enforcing, the Met has issued refreshed instructions to officers to issue fines more quickly to anyone committing obvious, wilful and serious breaches.”
Under new rules, reasonable excuses to leave the home include going to work when you can’t work from home, shopping for essentials or exercise.
A number of exemptions to mask wearing, listed on gov.uk, include physical or mental illness or impairment and those who could suffer “severe distress” from putting a covering over their face. Children aged under 11 are exempt.
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