As Britain's coronavirus case tally continues to climb and the likelihood of a nationwide epidemic grows, the government has drawn up a blueprint to tackle an outbreak on UK soil.
Boris Johnson's yesterday revealed a four-pronged approach to deal with the crisis - contain, delay, research, mitigate.
From these four pillars follows a Downing Street 'battle plan', which includes drastic measures such as clamping down on mass gatherings, putting the Army on standby and halting police paperwork.
Here the Mail breaks down the core components of the plan and how it will affect Britons.Six million may miss work
Employers encouraged to allow staff to work from home where possible. The battle plan warns that staff sickness will have a major impact on business and public services.
At the peak of an epidemic as many as one in five could be off sick at any one time – equal to more than six million people.
The plan warns: 'Everyone will face increased pressures at work, as well as their own personal illness or caring responsibilities.'
A family were been evacuated from a home in Hull by medics wearing hazmat suits, in the latest coronavirus scare
A security guard with a mask on checks a driver at a coronavirus drive-thru testing centre at Parsons Green Health Centre in Fulham
A coronavirus pod at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, as local hospitals ramp up preparations to deal with cases
Coronavirus fears have gripped Britain, as a pedestrian is pictured wearing a protective facemask while taking a bus in Westminster, London
If the virus takes off then some mass gatherings could be called off to slow the spread.
But officials pointed out yesterday that the spread of the virus could be greater if fans banned from a football match choose to watch it in the pub.
But older people could be advised to stay away, potentially putting events like the VE Day commemorations in jeopardy from May 8-10.
Older people could be advised to stay away from mass gatherings, potentially putting events like the VE Day commemorations in jeopardy from May 8-10. Pictured: Chelsea pensioners at the Remembrance Sunday parade last year
Strategies to slow the spread of the virus include so-called 'population distancing'.
Officials yesterday said this could include asking people to 'avoid contact outside work and school'.
Sources acknowledge there is little they can do to prevent people meeting friends and visiting pubs, restaurants and cinemas, but say that cutting social contact by 75 per cent could have a major impact on the spread of the disease.
Strategies to slow the spread of the virus include so-called 'population distancing' (stock image)
A dedicated plan for care homes will be published later this month. But, with elderly people significantly more vulnerable to the virus, sources said efforts would be made to limit contact with potential carriers.
Visits could be limited and family members could be asked to show they are virus-free before visiting.
At the height of the epidemic care homes could be temporarily closed to visitors, although ministers are anxious that residents do not feel cut off from their loved ones.Police to halt paperwork
The report suggests that police could be told to shelve all but the most serious casework in order to focus on 'critical functions'.
The document states that if the police suffer a 'significant loss of officers' to sickness they would be expected to 'concentrate on responding to serious crimes and maintaining public order.'
The report suggests that police could be told to shelve all but the most serious casework (stock image)
The Army could be put on standby to substitute for the police on guarding duties at high-profile sites, such as nuclear power stations and Parliament.
This would free up police officers for frontline roles.