Police could be restricted to dealing with murders and killings if the coronavirus stretches emergency forces to breaking point.
Leaked documents were circulated at the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC) detailing the plans last week.
It showed that in a worst-case scenario where "business cannot be sustained" as usual, police would prioritise "major, critical and emergency incidents".
The force would also be ordered to protect vulnerable people, visit serious public order and fatal or serious road traffic collisions.
Armed forces may have to be brought in to fight the crisis, back-filling positions if officers have to go off sick.
Soldiers could be drafted in to drive fire engines, ambulances, petrol tankers, customs jobs, air traffic control and hospital catering too, reports the Sunday Times.
The military may even have to guard prisons if Brits are banned from visiting inmates.
Experts have predicted up to one in five people could be off sick at work at any one time at the peak of the crisis.
Despite this, ministers are said to be way of drafting troops onto the streets, unless it’s vitally needed.
Coronavirus: Army troops ready to hit the streets when UK reaches 'peak virus' stage
Drastic measures to enforce a UK-wide lockdown could be in place from next, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.
On Thursday Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned “many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time” as coronavirus pandemic sets in.
He told the country people with even mild symptoms, a fever or dry cough, must self isolate immediately and that it will continue to "spread across the world and our country over the next few months."
Johnson received criticism for the comments as he followed it up with plans for "heard immunity," which could see up to 1.2 million dead.
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