Coronavirus: Poll shows young people twice as likely as elderly to want over-70s to self isolate

Two elderly women wearing medical masks in a street in Moscow as Europe has become the centre of the coronavirus outbreak. (Getty)

A poll shows that young people are twice as likely than elderly people to want over-70s to self isolate to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The pandemic which has been spreading through the UK and the rest of the planet will likely hit groups like the elderly and vulnerable the hardest.

On Monday, Boris Johnson told everyone in the UK to avoid all unnecessary social contact, with the closure of bars, restaurants, cinemas and theatres.

He said this was particularly important for people over 70, for pregnant women, and for those with health conditions to reduce the number of victims.

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While the prime minister didn't tell every Briton over the age of 70 to stay at home, health secretary Matt Hancock told the BBC on Sunday that they will be asked to stay home for an extended period to protect themselves within weeks.

A woman wears a mask and gloves as she leaves a station in London. (AP)

But a YouGov poll of 2,962 British adults shows that younger people want the elderly to self-isolate for up to four months.

It showed 20% of people are strongly in favour of the move, while 27% of 18 to 24-year-olds strongly support self-isolation for the over 70s.

A quarter of 25 to 49-year-olds also strongly supported it, but only 10% of 65+ felt the same way.

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Overall, 41% of people somewhat support it, with 18-24 at 42%, 25-49 at 44% and over 65s at 37%.

Only 10% of all the people surveyed strongly opposed the elderly self-isolating.

On Monday, Hancock confirmed that 55 people have now died after testing positive for the virus in the UK during a statement to MPs.

Boris Johnson briefs the media after Monday's Cobra meeting (PA)
A traveller wears a mask as he waits at Victoria Station in London (AP)

The pandemic is “the most serious public health emergency that our nation has faced for a generation”, the health secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons.

“Our goal is to protect life,” Hancock said. ”Our actions have meant that the spread of the virus has been slowed in the UK and I want to pay tribute to the officials at Public Health England and the NHS for their exemplary approach to contact tracing and their work so far.

Read more: Coronavirus: 55 people have now died in UK after testing positive for COVID-19

“However, the disease is now accelerating and 53 have sadly now died. Our hearts across this whole House go out to their families.”