Responding to today’s government announcement on the ending of Covid isolation and free testing, Morgan Vine, Head of Policy and Influencing at Independent Age, said:
“We know that many people aged 65 and over are worried about the upcoming relaxation of Covid restrictions, particularly the ending of self-isolation.
“We are concerned that this sudden change in direction of public safety is likely to increase anxiety among older people, and even cause some to shield themselves and limit daily activities.
“Our research revealed that the challenges faced by those in later life due to the pandemic have worsened many people’s mental health with many people we spoke to expressing fear at catching the virus in public settings. If the requirement to isolate is removed at the same time free lateral flow tests for most age groups stop, this fear is likely to increase as is the likelihood of coming into contact with someone who has Covid.
“Recent polling showed that a majority (56%) of older people thought isolating should always be a requirement for somebody who has tested positive for Covid, and a further 27% said it should at least be a requirement for the next few months.
“It’s essential that older people are able to live their daily lives safely. Now the government has announced the relaxation, it must clarify how it plans to protect those in later life from the virus.”