Mass gatherings could be banned in the UK from as early as next weekend amid the outbreak of coronavirus.
A government source said ministers are drawing up plans for the move – to ease pressure on emergency services.
Scores of major sporting and cultural events have already been cancelled across the country 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.
It is understood that ministers are working with the government’s chief scientific adviser and chief medical adviser 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.”
Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had earlier questioned the government’s decision to hold off cancelling large gatherings, describing the decision as “concerning”.