Those who refuse to leave public spaces when asked by police will be forced to instead, the head of the Metropolitan Police has warned.
She has said, however, that those who do not comply with police requests may be forced to move by her force.
“It’s extremely important that we all do try to comply with [the restrictions] and we in the police of course have our part to play.
“If we have to we will be very firm in that, if somebody completely refuses – but this is an absolute last resort – it will result in enforcement.”
Dame Cressida said the restrictions were “obviously difficult for some members of the public to get used to”, but that she thought most people would understand her officers using force where necessary.
“I think the vast majority of the public expect us to do that but the tradition of the Met is always to start by advising people.”
Dame Cressida did not say whether she believed further, tighter restrictions were required, but that her force were “ready to assist” in whatever the government decide to do next.
“Some people have been convicted and received very strong sentences for spitting or coughing at a police officer.”
Dame Cressida did not outline how many officers in her force were off sick, or self-isolating.
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The commissioner last week called on retired officers to come back and join the force as London tries to cope with the outbreak – so far, more than 300 have applied.
Metropolitan Police said it had begun bespoke training for its first batch of returning officers at Hendon station on Monday.