Brits who break coronavirus self-isolation to be jailed or fined £1,000

People who refuse coronavirus testing or break quarantine could be jailed or fined £1,000, it has been reported.

Emergency powers which are expected to be announced this week will allow English and Welsh police to use "reasonable force" to detain people at risk of infecting others, the Telegraph reports.

The new Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 available on the government's website state that anyone suspected of having coronavirus can be held for up to 14 days in a secure hospital or other suitable location.

If they leave or escape, they can be taken into police custody before being returned to forced isolation, the regulations state.

Failure to comply is a criminal offence punishable on summary conviction by a level 3 fine of up to £1,000. Not paying this fine could mean imprisonment.

Anyone suspected of being infected must consent to throat and nose swabs or to give a blood sample.

They must also inform authorities of their travel history and those they have been in contact with and can be fined for providing false information.

Brits over 70 have already been told they will have to self-isolate for up to four months even if they're not ill, which will come into force in the coming weeks according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Full details of the new emergency police powers are expected to be announced on Tuesday.

"We are going to take the powers to make sure that we can quarantine people if they are a risk to public health, yes, and that's important," Mr Hancock told the BBC.

"I doubt that actually we will need to use it much because people have been very responsible."

Other European countries have gone into lockdown to prevent the coronavirus from spreading further.

The French government closed down all bars and restaurants at midnight last night, while residents in Italy have been told not to leave their homes except for urgent needs.

Coronavirus is expected to stick around in Britain for another year until Spring 2021, according to worrying reports.

A secret Public Health England (PHE) briefing for senior NHS officials revealed the alarming prediction, including that up to 7.9 million Brits may have to be hospitalised with the virus, the Guardian reports.

It was also suggested that health officials are expecting as many as 80% of Britons to become infected with the coronavirus over that time.

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