Older people appear to be voluntarily shielding from the spread of Covid-19 with figures showing new infections are mainly confined to younger adults.
Experts are now suggesting more mature citizens should be covered by any future restrictions while younger people continue to work – avoiding the threat of strict new lockdown rules.
There has been a steady rise in coronavirus infections but no significant rise in the number of patients hospitalised, the Express reports.
New data suggests the peak age range for new coronavirus cases covers people under 40.
A specialist for the Government’s SPI-M modelling group Mark Woolhouse said that “the epidemic is starting to divide” by age.
Mr Woolhouse added: “There are hints from the behavioural data that younger adults are embracing the exit from lockdown more enthusiastically than older people.”
The academic from the University of Edinburgh suggested that older adults were adept at “shielding themselves”.
The data comes as ministers have shared concerns that if young people get infected the virus will inevitably spread to the older generation.
However, Professor Woolhouse argued: “People have worked out who’s at risk and they’re acting on it. Government and local authorities may not need to be that authoritarian about this.
“Maybe what people need is advice. It’s possible that would be enough to damp down many local outbreaks.”
He added that “we don’t have to panic now and maybe we can be more measured in our response”.
The Office for National Statistics has reported that infections were falling in older people, but increasing in younger people.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that the ONS information confirmed that the Government’s measures were allowing, “the country to safely return to normal”.
Recent data shows that two thirds of confirmed infections from the virus have been in the under-40s with most not requiring any major medical interventions or hospital treatment.
Now Government advisors are openly suggesting a Swedish-style strategy of letting younger people get back to work but encouraging older people to shield from the virus.
This approach may help the nation avoid a potentially severe second wave of infections.