Lockdown rules for ‘clinically vulnerable’ to be followed by over-60s in England
Everyone over 60 in England has been told by the government to follow the same lockdown rules as the “clinically vulnerable”.
Cautious guidance intended to help older people avoiding infection of Covid-19 by being "especially careful", previously only applied to over-70s.
Boris Johnson briefly touched on the change of instructions during his press conference on Saturday but did not expand on it further.
Inaccurate official guidance by the government remained published online for 24 hours until it was quietly fixed on Sunday night.
The change means up to 5.9 million people in England aged 60-69, must stick to even stricter lockdown guidance than all those aged 59 and younger.
Over-60s and the "clinically vulnerable" are being asked to "be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others," MirrorOnline reports.
They should also "continue to wash your hands carefully and more frequently than usual," and "maintain thorough cleaning of frequently touched areas in your home and/or workspace".
This group is not to be confused with the 2.2 million ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ who shielded in March but have not been asked to do so again throughout November.
The "clinically vulnerable" is instead a bracket of people at moderate risk, with a risk level somewhere between high-risk shielders and the general public.
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The clinically vulnerable group includes all over-70s and anyone under 70 with one of a range of underlying health conditions.
These include asthma, COPD, emphysema, bronchitis, diabetes, Parkinson’s, MND, MS, cerebral palsy, or a BMI above 40.
Pregnant women and those with chronic heart, kidney or liver disease are also included.
The clinically vulnerable group has not officially been extended to include all over-60s.
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However, the over-60s are now asked to follow the same rules as the clinically vulnerable – even though they are not in the group.
The PM told the nation: "If you are clinically vulnerable, or over the age of 60, you should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others."
Boris Johnson’s spokesman explained lockdown guidance further on Monday, adding: "The over-60s should take extra care because there is evidence they could be at greater risk of becoming seriously ill.
"The scientific advice is that people in the over 60 age group do have a higher risk of becoming more unwell with coronavirus, so they should take extra precaution."
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Official government guidance first said over-60s were actually part of the clinically vulnerable group, rather than just following the same rules as that group.
It said: "Clinically vulnerable people are those who are aged 60 or over (regardless of medical conditions)."
After several inquiries by the Mirror, the page was corrected on Monday night to make clear that, while not all over-60s are clinically vulnerable, they are being asked to follow the same rules as the vulnerable anyway.
The new guidance says: "If you are clinically vulnerable, or over the age of 60, you should be especially careful to follow the rules and minimise your contacts with others."
This update at 7.22pm was labelled as a "minor update to guidance" without any formal log of what had changed.
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