Commenting on the figures, Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“These new loneliness figures bring home the impact that the last eight months have had on millions of people around the UK.
Social connection has been more challenging during the pandemic, with people of all ages experiencing loneliness and isolation. It has been particularly hard for those who were shielding and asked not to leave their homes for months, including almost 1.4 million people aged over 60.
However, it's important to remember that even before the pandemic began, many older people were experiencing high levels of loneliness and isolation.
Being lonely is not a natural part of ageing, and these feelings certainly don’t get easier as people grow older. It’s critical, as we move into the depths of winter, that the government, community organisations, charities, friends and families make effort to support people experiencing loneliness, to ensure they stay socially connected and can play an active part in their communities.”