Covid carriers who refuse to self-isolate face £10,000 fines.

Those who test positive and even suspected carriers who ignore the two-week quarantine rule will be fined £1,000.

And the low-paid will get £500 so they can isolate at home.

That will rise to £10,000 for repeat offenders and cases of blatant non-compliance.

The plans – a legal requirement – are aimed at containing a second coronavirus wave sweeping menacingly across the UK.

But in a carrot-and-stick approach, up to four million low-paid workers can claim grants of up to £500 to cover the cost of staying home.

Announcing the scheme, PM Boris Johnson said: “The best way we can fight this virus is by everyone following the rules and self-isolating if they are at risk of passing on the virus.

Protesters clash with Met Police officers during an anti-vax rally

“People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines.

“And while most people are doing their level best to comply with the rules, I don’t want to see a situation where people don’t feel they are financially able to self-isolate.”

Anybody contacted by test and trace teams after being in contact with a possible carrier will face the same penalty if they disobey.

Bosses who threaten self-isolating staff with redundancy if they do not turn up for work will also face fines.

The sweeping powers are aimed at preventing carriers from spreading the virus via social contact.

They come amid attempts to avert a second national lockdown which Mr Johnson said would be “nothing short of disastrous” for the economy.

He has refused to rule out a national, two week “circuit break” lockdown after the R number infection rate rose to between 1.1 and 1.4.

Boris Johnson has warned: “People who choose to ignore the rules will face significant fines"
There is a testing crisis in the UK

The British Medical Association has called for tougher social distancing measures amid warnings of a significant rise in deaths.

The number of infections is feared to be doubling week on week and teams have been on city streets handing out leaflets encouraging people to download the Covid test-and-trace app.

The new rules also heap pressure on police forces being tasked with enforcing them when they come in a week tomorrow.

And the Police Federation warns it puts a “massive burden” on their officers.

So far just over 40 penalties have been issued in the UK over non-wearing of masks as police and shopkeepers disputed who was responsible.

Fewer than 14,000 fines of £60 to £100 have been handed out for breaches of lockdown rules, mostly for failing to abide by limits on group numbers.

Neighbours and council staff with local insight will be encouraged to snitch on anybody they suspect of having the virus but is failing to isolate.

Areas where the R number is high will be targeted, together with “high profile” figures in communities.

It follows the case of a man who failed to sef-isolate and went on a pub crawl in Bolton – triggering a spike in cases.

Rishi Sunak stalls spending

Rishi Sunak has told Treasury officials to put spending plans on hold amid fears about the second coronavirus wave.

The Chancellor may also have to delay the most crucial Budget for decades until next year if a two-week “circuit breaker” lockdown hammers the economy.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is concerned about a second lockdown

A Treasury insider said: “It was bad enough but this second wave will make it more difficult to put together a plan in time to deliver it to Parliament this autumn.”

Contingency plans have been drawn up for a Budget next spring. Mr Sunak also has to consider potential record unemployment as support schemes taper off, falling productivity and lower tax revenues.

Business leaders say it is too early to say how the second wave will affect specific sectors of the economy.