What is the coronavirus advice for the over-70s?

5 May 2020, 16:23 | Updated: 5 May 2020, 16:25

Matt Hancock has spoken out on advice for over-70s
Matt Hancock has spoken out on advice for over-70s. Picture: PA

The latest government rules and advice for the over 70s during the lockdown.

The UK has been in lockdown since 23 March, with most of the British public being told to only leave the house for food shopping, once-daily exercise, medical reasons and essential work.

Read more: When is Boris Johnson's next lockdown announcement?

Some people who are classed as 'vulnerable', however, were previously told by the government to shield themselves for 12 weeks.

Matt Hancock has clarified advice for over-70s
Matt Hancock has clarified advice for over-70s. Picture: PA

There has been some confusion as to whether the over-70s are included within this group, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock took to Twitter last Sunday (3 March) to clarify the advice.

He wrote: "the clinically vulnerable, who are advised to stay in lockdown for 12 weeks, emphatically DO NOT include all over 70s".

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Matt Hancock, who was responding to a Sunday Times article added: "We have strongly advised all over 70s to follow social distancing measures.

"However, there is no 'blanket ban', and the suggestion that the clinically vulnerable include 'people aged 70 or older regardless of medical conditions' is wrong and deeply misleading."

Find out more about the government advice on clinically vulnerable people on the gov.uk website.

Matt Hancock also spoke about the over-70s at the daily press conference last Friday, saying: "The over-70s can be absolutely fit and healthy, it's not the case that everybody over 70 has a chronic health condition or underlying disease.

"As we look forward ... I think it's a perfectly reasonable question to say how would that work in age groups and age bands?

"Although we do know that complications and, unfortunately, deaths are more common in the elderly even without complications, I think that's for consideration and that's work that we will need to do as we move forward."

What are the lockdown rules for the over-70s?

There has been some confusion about Mr Hancock's comments, as the government website states that over-70s are "clinically vulnerable" regardless of medical conditions and are advised to "take particular care to minimise contact with others outside their household".

However, it has been confirmed that they are not considered 'extremely clinically vulnerable', with The Department of Health and Social Care saying that over-70s "are not included in the most at-risk group (extremely clinically vulnerable), who have been told to isolate for 12 weeks".


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