Downing Street backtracks on over-50s shielding plan

Downing Street backtracks on over-50s shielding planCoronavirus latest news: Number 10 hints that pubs could close to keep schools open in local outbreaks ‘Covid vaccine shortages are very likely – without a plan, it will be a feeding frenzy’ Leaked documents brandished by Jeremy Corbyn ‘were hacked by Russians from minister’s account’ Revealed: Spain secretly lobbied US Congress on getting joint sovereignty over Gibraltar Norman Tebbit: A free and independent Brexit Britain could do without rule by unelected judges Subscribe to The Telegraph, free for one month Downing Street appears to be pulling back from plans to tell large swathes of the over-50s they will have to shield, following a major backlash. Over the weekend senior Government sources briefed out plans that anyone over 50 who is obese, overweight or in ill health would receive a tailored letter in the autumn advising them to stay at home to protect themselves. But Tory MPs and business leaders argued this risks damaging the economy and runs contrary to Boris Johnson’s plea to get workers back to the office. This afternoon, the Prime Minister’s spokesman claimed the story was “inaccurate”, insisting that a localised approach would take priority. This echoed comments made earlier today by Nadhim Zahawi, the business minister. He told the Today programme: “The correct way to do this is to follow how the virus is behaving and react accordingly. That story is speculation and is inaccurate.” Read the latest updates below.

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