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Coronavirus: Brits face £1,000 fines or being detained if they refuse self-isolation

Mirror logo Mirror 15/03/2020 Milo Boyd

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Police are set to be granted emergency powers if members of the public refuse self-isolation, it emerged on Sunday night.

Those who flout the rules could be slapped with a £1,000 fine - or be detained.

It comes as over-70s are set to be made to go into self-isolation for four months even if they are not ill.

Boris Johnson et al. sitting at a table: Boris Johnson 's government released the policy on its website © Andrew Parsons / 10 Downing Street Boris Johnson 's government released the policy on its website Police in England and Wales will be given emergency powers so they can use "reasonable force" to detain people who may infect others, The Telegraph reports. 

Under the Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulation 2020, which have been published on the government's website, people who are suspected of having the disease can be held for 14 days.

Gallery: WHO guidelines for protection against COVID-19 (Photo Services)

If they leave the secure location they are taken to, they can be moved to custody before being returned to the original place of quarantine.

A £1,000 fine will greet those who don't comply, with prison waiting for those who do not pay.

Those suspected of being infected must consent to have their throat and nose swapped, or to give a blood sample.

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It is expected that the measures will be announced at some point over the next week, after over-70s were told they would have to self-isolate at some point.

They will be rolled out as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases and the death toll continue to rise in the UK.

A man wearing a protective face mask as commuters cross London Bridge during morning rush hour in London , as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected. © PA Wire/PA Images A man wearing a protective face mask as commuters cross London Bridge during morning rush hour in London , as the Government's top scientist warned that up to 10,000 people in the UK are already infected. On Sunday afternoon it was announced that the  coronavirus  death toll in the UK has reached 35 - and three of these victims were being treated at the same NHS Trust.

More patients died of the virus at Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust in Greater Manchester and Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust across Surrey and parts of south London. Now three people have died of Covid-19 at each of these groups.

The  total death toll in the country has  increased more than 50% in the last 24 hours.

a person standing in front of a curtain: Over-70s are likely going to have to self-isolate © Getty Images/Johner RF Over-70s are likely going to have to self-isolate Twenty-two other NHS Trusts have recorded at least one death each since the start of the month. Many of these patients were elderly, and had underlying health conditions.

Other drastic action potentially being considered by the authorities in a bid to control the outbreak included the early release of prisoners.

On Sunday, Prison Officers Association general secretary Steve Gillan described the coronavirus situation in prisons as “unprecedented” for both prisoners and staff.

Matthew Hancock wearing a suit and tie: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care © Getty Images Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care When asked if releasing some prisoners was in the contingency plan, Mr Gillan said: “Not as yet, but previous governments have done what was called an executive release of prisoners, that may come in the future to free up spaces in prisons.”

He explained this could be in the form of temporary release or the release of prisoners towards the end of their sentences.

“The secretary of state has the powers to look at low-risk category prisoners and just release them as that executive release,” he added.

Follow the government's latest travel advice for people travelling back to the UK from affected areas, including whether to self-isolate. Don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and call NHS 111. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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