More than 10,000 armed forces staff put on standby over coronavirus spread


MORE than 10,000 armed forces staff could be put on standby over the spread of coronavirus.

Officials have been working on the plans for weeks, and are now set to present them to Boris Johnson as the crisis continues.

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The army could be deployed outside Parliament

Codenamed Operation Broadshare, the plans are said to have been drawn up a few weeks ago only to be massively changed due to the soaring spread of the virus.

A senior source told Sky News: “It feels like we’re getting ready for war, but this time at home.

“”This is what the military is good at, we are always planning scenarios and ready to step in to help, however I’ve never known anything like this. There are just so many unknowns.”

The military are planning to use at least 20 per cent of its personnel to fight the virus, with the proposals including how to cope with the breakdown of society.

Some of the planned scenarios include backing up the police, staffing morgues, and helping older people with shopping and transport.

Under the plans, the British army will be also deployed to protect key public locations including Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, and Parliament if the police force is severely hit by the virus.

The plans are modelled on Operation Temperer, a mobilisation plan to be deployed in the event of a major terrorist attack.

They come as it was revealed a second MP has been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Labour’s Kate Osborne said this morning she had been tested for the deadly bug, and had been self-isolating from the community.

The force could help if society breaks down