The deputy chief medical officer has warned some lockdown measures could be in place for six months.
Dr Jenny Harries said: “We may see measures of lockdown going forward over the next six months.
“That would not be an implausible outcome.
“But I also said I think that as were watching the curve, it may be possible… to start moving that.”
Coronavirus deaths soared passed 100 in a day yesterday.
As cases soared to 578 number-crunchers said the virus kills someone in the UK every 13 minutes.
Firefighters could be drafted in to help deliver groceries, medicine and drive ambulances during the coronavirus crisis.
The General Secretary of the Fire Brigades Union Matt Wrack said it would be “quite a serious challenge” for crews to take on more work.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme: “Well, training is a key element of a document that we will be releasing today. Firefighters are clearly keen to do whatever they can to help in the situation.”
Wrack added that there is a “need to protect core functions” of the fire service while firefighters may be asked to take on additional roles.
He said: “I think this is a huge challenge across public services and also clearly we need to ensure that firefighters and others are protected in terms of personal protective equipment because no one can do their job if their own safety is compromised.”