This legal requirement came into effect on Monday, September 28 in a bid to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Those who break the rules can be fined from £1,000 to £10,000 for repeat offenders.
For many who are told to stay home, it will mean they can’t go to work, and will lose income as a result.
But support is now available, for those eligible, through the Test and Trace Support Payment.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Anyone can catch coronavirus and anyone can spread it. We all have a crucial part to play in keeping the number of new infections down and protecting our loved ones.
“As cases rise it is imperative we take action, and we are introducing a legal duty to self-isolate when told to do so, with fines for breaches and a new £500 support payment for those on lower incomes who can’t work from home while they are self-isolating.
“These simple steps can make a huge difference to reduce the spread of the virus, but we will not hesitate to put in place further measures if cases continue to rise.”
Who is eligible for the £500 payment?
Those on lower incomes who can’t work, or have lost income as a result of self isolating, can claim the £500 payment.
This means almost four million of the poorest workers in the UK will be able to apply for the grant.
The government says both people in work and on benefits are eligible.
You must be receiving Universal Credit, Working Tax Credit, income-based Employment and Support Allowance, income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Housing Benefit and/or Pension Credit.
Or you must be employed or self-employed and unable to work from home, which means you’re losing income.
You also have to have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, even if you don’t have symptoms.
How to apply for £500 payment:
The actual payment system is not yet up and running, but local authorities are working quickly to set it up.
It is expected to be in place by October 12.
But for those who have been told to self isolate since September 12, the pay will be backdated.
You need to apply online to your local council, or call them, and submit supporting evidence.
Each council will be responsible for delivering the payments and administering the system.
What evidence do you need?
You need to show a notification from Test and Trace asking you to self-isolate.
You also need a bank statement, proof of employment if necessary and confirmation that you are unable to work from home.
Alternatively, if you’re self employed you can show evidence of self-assessment returns.