Ministers are planning to give police the power to arrest people with coronavirus who are not self-isolating, the Health Secretary has confirmed.

Matt Hancock said "we will stop at nothing" in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak as he detailed a series of severe measures the Government is considering.

Bars, restaurants and shops other than supermarkets and pharmacies could be shut while over-70s will be asked in the coming weeks to stay indoors for up to four months, he said.

Mr Hancock also confirmed a report that emergency legislation being drawn up by the Government will include allowing police the power to arrest infected citizens.

Matt Hancock said police could be given powers to arrest people with Covid-19 who are not self-isolating. Credit: ITV News

“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 Andrew Marr Show on the BBC.

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

The emergency powers will be set out on Tuesday before the legislation is outlined in a Bill due to be published on Thursday, Mr Hancock said.

Speaking on Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Hancock said ministers are yet to make a decision on whether to ban gatherings of over 500 people in the rest of the UK, after Scotland said it would bring in restrictions from Monday.

"We are absolutely ready to do that as necessary," he said, but he pointed towards a Cobra meeting being held on Monday when asked when the decision will be made.

Labour’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth asked for reassurance from the Government about some of the “very stringent powers” ministers hope to introduce.