Loneliness: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 3rd September 2020.

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Photo of Colleen Fletcher Colleen Fletcher Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, whether his Department has assessed the effect of the covid-19 outbreak on levels of loneliness and social isolation.

Photo of John Whittingdale John Whittingdale Minister of State

The Government has been closely monitoring loneliness and social isolation during the Covid-19 outbreak, working with a range of sectors to hear their experiences and learn from their evidence through the government’s new Tackling Loneliness Network.

The impacts of Covid-19 on loneliness are still to be fully seen and the evidence base is still developing. Emerging indications suggest that prevalence of chronic loneliness across the UK population as a whole appears to have remained stable throughout the lockdown period and may have decreased since social distancing measures eased in early June. However, initial analysis of the UCL Covid-19 Social Study has shown that some vulnerable groups (e.g. young people, adults living alone) appeared to be at a heightened risk of chronic loneliness during lockdown.

The Government will continue to monitor the effects of Covid-19 on loneliness and social isolation.

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