March 3, 2020 / 12:15 PM / in a month

Factbox: Britain sets out measures to tackle spread of coronavirus

A man wearing a protective face mask is pictured in Chinatown district, in London, Britain March 2, 2020. REUTERS/Tom Nicholson NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government unveiled its action plan to tackle the spread of coronavirus on Tuesday, including possible measures to close schools, force people to work from home and cancel large-scale gatherings to delay the peak of the outbreak.

Below are the main measures set out in the plan:

If transmission of the virus becomes established in the UK population:

- Emergency services, including the police and fire and rescue services, will enact plans to ensure they are able to maintain a critical function.

- With a serious loss of officers and staff, police would concentrate on responding to serious crimes and maintaining public order.

- Businesses facing short-term cash flow issues, for example as a result of subdued demand, can use existing mitigations to the ‘Time to Pay’ system.

- Some non-urgent medical care may be delayed to prioritise and triage service delivery. Staff rostering changes may be necessary, including calling leavers and retirees back to duty.

- The requirement for medicines might start to increase, with a need to draw down on existing stockpiles of the most important medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables.

- The government will provide advice to local authorities on dealing with the challenge of any increase in deaths arising from the outbreak.

Reporting by Elizabeth Piper; writing by Paul Sandle, Editing by Kylie MacLellan

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