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Coronavirus: Older People

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 29th May 2020.

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Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether people aged over 70 years old are (a) clinically vulnerable and (b) advised to shield for 12 weeks from 23 March 2020 as a result of the covid-19 outbreak; and whether people in that age group are able to move house.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 20 May 2020

People aged 70 and over are at higher risk of severe illness if they catch the virus and are considered to be clinically vulnerable. Our advice for people aged 70 and over is to practice stringent social distancing to minimise contact with others outside their household, but not to shield unless advised by their general practitioner (GP) or clinician.

Only those who are considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to shield. Anyone who is 70 or over who has been advised to shield by the National Health Service or their GP should continue to do this until at least the end of June.

We recognise that some over 70s who are shielding or otherwise vulnerable may also have a pressing need to move home; however, this should be balanced with the increased risks presented by COVID-19 and the medical advice for such people, including on staying at home and avoiding unnecessary contacts over this period, if at all possible.

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