Scientists advising the Government on coronavirus considered a plan to ask everyone over the age of 45 to shield.
It was suggested those over 45 were at greater risk from the virus, and more likely to die from it, so could be ‘segmented’ from the rest of the population. The suggestion, revealed in papers from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), was eventually advised against, as it was considered unlikely to be successful.
However, it is being kept under review, and news of it follows a similar option drawn up by officials to potentially target over-50s with another lockdown.
The minutes of the 48th meeting of the Sage scientists, held on July 23, state: ‘Although under-45s are at less risk from Covid-19, including lower risk of death, they are nonetheless at some risk and long-term sequelae (consequences) are not well understood.’
The document adds: ‘Around two-thirds of people in the UK live in a household which includes one or more individuals aged 45 and above. Any segmentation based on this age threshold would therefore affect most households.’
The ‘segmentation’ looked at would have involved those over 45 shielding, which early in the pandemic meant staying at home, and avoiding unnecessary contact with others.