Coronavirus victims who refuse to self-isolate could be detained, it has been reported.

The government is set to introduce emergency legislation next week which would see a ban on large gatherings.

Alongside that, police could be handed powers to detain suspected virus victims ‘for a limited period’ if necessary to stop them spreading the infection.

There could also be new powers to close ports if immigration and border staff fall sick with the disease.

Councils are also likely to be able to lower standards in care homes to deal with staff shortages.

And further measures are expected to be announced to speed up burials and cremations to cope with the ‘worst case scenario.’

Ministers believe the virus will infect the majority of the country and the laws will stay in place for two years, according to the Times.

The number of infections in the UK is now nearing 800 and 11 people have died.

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While gatherings of more than 500 people will be banned, schools are set to remain open.

Late on Friday a Whitehall source said: ‘Ministers are working with the chief scientific adviser and chief medical officer on our plan to stop various types of public event, including mass gatherings, beginning next week.

‘We are also talking to businesses and other bodies about the timing of moving towards much more widespread working from home.

‘There are many complex considerations to make all these measures as effective as possible.

‘We will make the right decisions at the right time based on the best scientific evidence.

‘We have drafted emergency legislation to give the government the powers it needs to deal with coronavirus, including powers to stop mass gatherings and compensate organisations.

‘We will publish this legislation next week.’

Boris Johnson has come under criticism for not following other European countries and introducing tougher restrictions.

The World Health Organisation has said that Europe is now the epicentre of the pandemic.

Yesterday, the London Marathon was postponed until October while the Football Association announced the premier league will be suspended until April 4.

Next week’s Champions League and Europa League matches were also postponed as was the Wales v Scotland Six Nations rugby match.

England’s cricket tour of Sri Lanka was also called off.

The local and mayoral elections in May have also been postponed for a year.

England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, said the peak of the outbreak is most likely still 10 to 14 weeks away.