Covid fines: who's getting them, where is issuing the most, and what for?

More than 40,000 fines have been issued in England

Fines for breaching Coronavirus regulations were brought in at the end of March last year, to try to crack down on the spread of infection.

What are the national numbers?

42,675 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued in England and Wales for Coronavirus rules breaches between Friday 27 March and Sunday 17 January.

In England, 38,452 were issued. That's according to the National Police Chiefs Council.

What is a Fixed Penalty Notice?

They are fines which are issued on the spot.

Police officers in Birmingham issued around 50 fines after catching a large gathering of party-goers at a student accommodation block.

What are the numbers in the Midlands?

Between 27th March to 17th January:

  • Derbyshire - 451

  • Leicestershire - 1,110

  • Lincolnshire - 490

  • Northamptonshire - 1,299

  • Nottinghamshire - 1,304

  • Staffordshire - 762

  • Warwickshire - 660

  • West Mercia - 999

  • West Midlands - 1,453

The most fines were handed out in Northumbria, followed by the Metropolitan Police.

Police say latest data shows an "upward trend" in the number of fines issued, with 2,564 issued in the last full week of data, with 2,225 the week before.


Nottinghamshire's Police and Crime Commissioner says 'tolerance is wearing thin' after a spike in the number of fines in his area.

His own figures show 1,600 fines have been issued in the last three months, compared to a tenth of that - 160 - in the first six months.

On top of the fixed penalty notices, 12 £10,000 fines have been issued to party organisers.

The majority of fines are being issued to people under 30, and men are more likely than women to be fined.

31 fines have been for repeat offenders.

On New Year's Eve they issued 130 Fixed Penalty Notices that night and one £10,000 fine.

What can you be fined for?

Examples include -

  • Meeting more people than allowed

  • Staying overnight

  • Holding large gatherings

  • Travelling out of your area

  • Breaches of face covering rules

  • Businesses not enforcing rules like wearing of face coverings, refusing to close, not following table service rules, or hosting larger than allowed gatherings.

  • Failing to isolate after international travel

Three men from Staffordshire were fined after travelling 200 miles for a boat trip Credit: Kent Police

Who has been fined?

  • 80 % of all Coronavirus notices issued in England and Wales were given to those aged between 18-39.

  • The vast majority were issued to people for travelling outside a local area.

  • The large majority (over 7 in 10) were issued to men.

  • Over 7 in 10 were issued to the under 35s; with 44% issued to 18-24 year olds, 16%to those aged 25-29 and 12% to those aged 30-34.

What are the fines?

West Midlands Police, the biggest force in the Midlands say as a last resource they will:

  • issue a fixed penalty notice of £100

  • issue a fixed penalty notice of £200 for second time offenders, doubling on each further repeat offence up to £6,400

  • issue a £10,000 fine for anyone facilitating or organising illegal raves, unlicensed music events, or any other unlawful gathering of more than 30 people

  • If someone does not pay their fixed penalty notice, they could go to court, where magistrates can impose an unlimited fine

  • If someone refuses to comply, they will be acting unlawfully, and we may arrest them where deemed necessary and proportionate in the circumstances.

What is the police approach?

They say they will always start by following 'the 4 Es': Engage. Explain. Encourage. Enforce.

First they will try to engage with someone, explain how they think they are breaking the rules, and encourage them to change their behaviour to reduce the risk to public safety and health.