Millions of over-50s could be told to stay at home under new government plans to avoid second lockdown

3 August 2020, 08:03 | Updated: 3 August 2020, 08:14

Boris Johnson is in crisis talks over new lockdown measures
Boris Johnson is in crisis talks over new lockdown measures. Picture: Getty Images/PA Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Will over 50s have to shield under new lockdown rules? Here's what we know...

Boris Johnson is reportedly drawing up plans to avoid a second lockdown in England.

According to the Sunday Times, the Prime Minister is considering asking a larger number of people to shield if there’s another spike in COVID-19 cases.

More than 2 million people over the age of 70 and with serious health conditions were told to stay at home after being considered ‘the most vulnerable’ back in March.

But after that advice came to an end in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Saturday, millions of over 50s could now be told to shield over the winter months.

Boris Johnson has put new lockdown easing on hold
Boris Johnson has put new lockdown easing on hold. Picture: PA Images

The report states people aged between 50 and 70 could be given personalised risk ratings, taking into account factors such as age and medical conditions.

Other ideas include banning people from staying in each others’ homes, similar to restrictions currently in place in Leicester and parts of north-west England.

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However, following the reports housing secretary Robert Jenrick has insisted it is all ‘just speculation’.

Speaking to Times Radio, Mr Jenrick: “You would expect the government to be considering all of the range of options that might be available.

But responding to reports of more shielding, he said: “That’s not something that is being actively considered.”

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Before adding: "Moving forwards, we hope to be able to operate on a localised approach… but we don't have any plans for a national blanket approach."

As well as increased shielding measures, the government is reportedly considering lockdown conditions for London, including telling people to work from home and stopping travel beyond the M25.

This comes after the prime minister was forced to postpone the latest easing of lockdown on Friday.

While some businesses in the leisure and beauty sectors were due to open, this has been put on hold due to fears cases of coronavirus are starting to rise again.

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