Buildings contaminated by Covid-19 can be "destroyed" by local councils, under new powers granted by the Government.

The demolition directive means, in theory, workspaces, shops, and care homes could be brought down.

Private homes could also be destroyed “as a last resort”, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

Use of the terms “conveyance or movable structure” suggests public transport such as buses and trains are also liable.

However, local authorities must make an application to the magistrates’ court for approval to do so.

The powers given to local authorities are among a raft of new measures by the Government to prevent a second wave of coronavirus infections.

Councils can draw from six separate pieces of legislation, including the Coronavirus Act 2020 and the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Councils can also order vehicles to be destroyed to protect public health. Photo: Pixabay

Should a local outbreak occur, the council can “impose restrictions or requirements to close contaminated premises; close public spaces in the area of the local authority; detain a conveyance or movable structure; disinfect or decontaminate premises; or order that a building, conveyance or structure be destroyed,” according to the Covid-19 Contain Framework: a guide for local decision-makers.

Recently councils were also granted new powers by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to contain a surge by enforcing so-called "lightning lockdowns".

These new powers give councils in England freedom to respond to outbreaks "where speed is paramount".

It grants the council and others permission to close down businesses, events, and outdoor spaces in the county, without a directive from central Government.

Mr Johnson added the new powers should be used “with discretion”.