LONDON Mayor Sadiq Khan has appealed to the public to “stop all non-essential travel" as trains in the UK capital were again crowded today despite Boris Johnson putting Britain on lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Calls were made for the police to be brought in to control the flow of people on London Underground.

Travellers took to social media to report how carriages remained packed despite clear instructions for people to stay at home.

Mr Khan demanded employers allowed their staff to work from home "unless it's absolutely necessary", adding: "Ignoring these rules means more lives lost."

Transport for London[TfL] - which is chaired by Mr Khan - has suspended the Circle line and Waterloo & City line, and reduced frequencies on other parts of the Tube network. Bus services have also been cut.

The Mayor said "growing numbers" of TfL staff were off sick or self-isolating, which meant “we cannot run more services than we currently are".

Like others, he also called for urgent UK Government help for the self-employed to encourage them to stay at home.

"Many of those still travelling to work today are on zero-hour contracts, work in the gig economy or are freelancers.

"A proper package of support for these workers would alleviate this situation and help public transport and I've raised this with the Government," added Mr Khan.

Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office Minister, urged people to show “appropriate restraint and common sense,” insisting: “Wherever possible, people should stay at home.”

Asked about what help the Government could give to Britain's army of five million self-employed people, the Scot said: “We will be seeing more in due course about additional support for every sector of the economy.”

Pressed on what in due course meant, Mr Gove replied: “The Chancellor will be saying more later. I appreciate for people in tough economic circumstances these are not easy times. But wherever possible, people should stay at home.

"It’s also important to stress measures have already been taken by the Chancellor to support the economy and the steps the Chancellor has taken I think are the most extensive of any western economy.

“But the Chancellor has also made it clear that he will do whatever it takes to maintain the economic health of the nation, to support people in vulnerable circumstances."

The minister added: "But the single most important thing we can do is to everything possible to protect the NHS and protect lives.”

Meanwhile, transport union TSSA called for police officers to be deployed at major stations in London to ensure "passengers on the city's public transport network are only those providing vital services".

Manuel Cortes, its General Secretary, declared: "Only Government has the power to enforce what's needed."

Finn Brennan, district organiser for train drivers' union Aslef, said: "Getting lots of reports of early trains being full on the Underground. If the Government doesn't shut construction sites and pay self-employment, people will die."

Nurse Julia Harris, who commutes to work at Imperial College NHS Trust in London, said she had left early and changed her route in a bid to avoid crowds but still found services busy.

“Seats on the train all had at least one person so people needed to stand and the District line was busy as well. I still don't think things have improved as a large amount of people are commuting early in the morning.

"It is concerning because I have to come to work. The choice isn't there and my commute is quite long. I worry for my health more on my commute than actually being in the hospital."

Ms Harris said the reduction in TfL services meant "you now have more people waiting and piling onto the Tubes and trains".

She added: "The issue is key workers aren't just health professionals; we under-estimated how many people are needed to keep things running."

Nicola Smith, who works at a hospital in the capital, said she was "risking my health" to commute by Tube because it was so busy.

She called on TfL to increase services or for the Prime Minister to "start policing who's getting on". She added: "Help me!"

Nurse Danielle Tiplady posted on Twitter: "Being on the Tube is making me feel uneasy. It is too busy [and] there is no space for social distancing."

She urged Mr Johnson and Mr Khan to "go further", calling on them to "monitor who is getting on the train and allow more services to run".

She added: "I feel like I am risking my health trying to get to work."