HEALTH Secretary Matt Hancock has refuted claims there could be a complete ban on residents over 70 leaving their homes when lockdown measures are eased.

He was responding to Wantage MP David Johnston in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Mr Johnston asked if elderly constituents would be forced to stay in their homes for an extended period of time regardless of their state of health.

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The Health Secretary explained there are three groups ‘in terms of the strictures of the social distancing guidelines’.

These are people of working age who do not have underlying health conditions; the ‘clinically vulnerable’ – those who are more susceptible to the virus including the over-70s who must pay ‘particular attention’ to the measures; and the ‘shielded’ group of people who have received an official letter from the NHS requesting that they do not leave their homes for any reason.

Mr Johnston’s question comes as many elderly fear being left behind when the government begins loosening the restrictions.

The newly-elected MP said that constituents over 70 from Wantage Didcot have been concerned by reports of a ‘blanket ban’.