The UK government is planning to introduce emergency laws next week to ban mass gatherings of more than 500 people in an attempt to curb the spread of coronavirus.
Scores of major sporting and cultural events have already been cancelled in response to the pandemic.
The number of confirmed cases of the virus in the UK rose to 798 on Friday and a total of 11 people have died.
But the government estimates the true number of cases to be around 5,000 to 10,000 around the UK.
It is understood ministers are working on plans to stop various types of public events.
The source said: “There are many complex considerations to make all these measures as effective as possible.
“We will make the right decisions at the right time based on the best scientific evidence.”
It is thought a ban could start to take effect as early as next weekend, although exact timescales are not clear.
There has been criticism of the government’s handling of the crisis, including from former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who described its previous decision to hold off cancelling large gatherings as “concerning”.