Police officers can now use "reasonable force" to get people to go home as part of tough new powers amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Thames Valley Police have been given further powers to help enforce the government policy for people to stay indoors to fight the worsening Covid-19 spread.

The new legislation permits officers to use 'reasonable force' where necessary to ensure residents are complying with their orders.

Officers will now use a four-stage approach to anyone out of the house. 

They will first "initially encourage voluntary compliance" and explain how staying at home can save lives and help the NHS. 

They will then "seek compliance and emphasise the benefits to the NHS".

The last step will see officers "direct" people not complying to the place they live in - which may include "providing reasonable instruction of the route by which the person is to return home". 

Officers can also "remove" that person to their home, "using reasonable force where it is necessary and proportionate".  

Members of the public are allowed to go out of their homes to shop for basic necessities, for exercise once a day, for medical needs and to travel to and from work if essential.

The National Police Chiefs Council announced the new regulations earlier today and assured that enforcement will be a last resort.