Coronavirus: Over-70s to be asked to self-isolate for up to four months

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says older people will be asked to isolate Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Health Secretary Matt Hancock says older people will be asked to isolate Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire - Credit: PA

West Suffolk MP and health secretary Matt Hancock has said that people aged over 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months because of coronavirus.

Cases of the illness have been increasing over the past few days and weeks, with official statistics indicating more than 1,000 people have been diagnosed with the virus.

The government has since drawn up an action plan to try and delay the spread, with Mr Hancock confirming on Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday programme that over-70s would be asked to self-isolate within weeks.

He said: '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.'


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Mr Hancock has said coronavirus is 'a very significant challenge' that will 'disrupt the lives of almost everybody' in the UK.

He added: 'The measures that we're taking, 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.'

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