That would mean people may be forced to protect themselves due to their age in the months to come – and vulnerable people identified in March would be forced to self-isolate again.
This is seen as one of a series of alternatives to reimposing full lockdown restrictions, as happened in March, it is claimed.
Conservative Minister Robert Jenrick insisted the idea was not “actively being considered” and said it was “speculation”. Sources No10 also called the reports “speculative.”
But Mr Jenrick also declined to rule it out in the future, saying: “You would expect the government to consider all the options that might be available to us.”
On Saturday, restrictions on protecting vulnerable people were lifted in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Wales will follow later in August.
People who were protecting can no longer receive government-paid food packages or statutory sickness benefits, reports The Mirror.
The end of the shielding has come despite Boris Johnson putting the brakes on further easing of lockdown rules, as new data suggests the number of new Covid-19 cases in England is on the rise again.
Previous protection guidelines were not based on a person’s age. Instead, the 2.2 million people were selected on the basis of their state of health.
However, according to The Sunday Times and The Sunday Telegraph, an option has been raised to focus more on age in the future.
According to the proposals, more people would be asked to protect themselves, depending on their age or particular risk factors that have been identified since March, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
It could even see people aged 50 to 70 given “personalized risk assessments,” the Sunday Times said – a move that would add to the 2.2 million people deemed most vulnerable and who had previously been invited to stay in their homes.
The Sunday Times reported that the leader of the Conservative Party held a “war game” session with Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday to examine possible options to avoid another national lockdown that could block any potential economic recovery.
Conservative Minister Robert Jenrick appeared to downplay the possibility of age restrictions, but did not rule them out completely.
He told Times Radio on Sunday: “This is just speculation. You expect the government to look at all the options that may be available to us. It is not something that is actively contemplated.
“We have a protection program, we have provided very clear advice to people who we have identified as being extremely vulnerable clinically and we have supported them and we will continue to support them, for example with the delivery of drugs if they need it.
“And if necessary in localized areas, for example in Leicester, we have extended the period in which we ask people to protect themselves who meet these characteristics.
The people of Luton and Blackburn with Darwen were told that the shielding is expected to continue until August 17th.
In Leicester, the armor also continues until at least August 17 and could work in parts of the city beyond. Likewise, the armor remains in place until August 16 in Wales.
But residents of Greater Manchester and parts of Lancashire and West Yorkshire have learned that the shielding has been completed – despite new restrictions prohibiting two households from meeting inside.