Elderly will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months says Health Secretary

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it is a “very big ask” but is for their own “self-protection” against coronavirus

Sunday, 15th March 2020, 12:15 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th March 2020, 12:16 pm

Those over 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months, as the UK escalates the fight against coronavirus.

The step up in Government efforts comes as the UK’s Covid-19 death toll rose on Saturday March 14 from 11 deaths to 21.

The Department of Health reported the latest number of those testing positive for the disease has passed the 1,000 mark.

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BBC handout photo of Health Secretary Matt Hancock on the Andrew Marr show. PA Photo. Issue date: Sunday March 15, 2020.

Mr Hancock said that people aged over 70 will be asked in the coming weeks to self-isolate for up to four months, in order to protect them from the virus.

Asked if that was in the Government's plan, the Health Secretary told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "That is in the action plan, yes, and we will be setting it out with more detail when it is the right time to do so, because we absolutely appreciate that it is a very big ask of the elderly and the vulnerable, and it's for their own self-protection."

Pressed on when the measure will be introduced, he said: "Certainly in the coming weeks, absolutely."

He said coronavirus is "a very significant challenge" that will "disrupt the lives of almost everybody" in the UK.

"The measures that we're looking at taking are very, very significant and they will disrupt the ordinary lives of almost everybody in the country in order to tackle this virus.”