PEOPLE aged over 70 will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months in the coming weeks in order to protect themselves from the coronavirus, the health secretary has revealed.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, speaking on Ridge on Sunday on Sky News, was asked if this was part of the government's plan, and he said: "That is in the action plan, yes, and we will be setting it out with more detail when it is the right time to do so because we absolutely appreciate that it is a very big ask of the elderly and the vulnerable, and it's for their own self-protection."

Pressed on when the measure will be introduced, he said: "Certainly in the coming weeks, absolutely."

Mr Hancock also said coronavirus is "a very significant challenge" that will "disrupt the lives of almost everybody" in the UK.

He said: "The measures that we're taking, the measures that we're looking at taking are very, very significant and they will disrupt the ordinary lives of almost everybody in the country in order to tackle this virus."

There have been eight cases so far in Lancashire – two in South Ribble, three in Chorley, two in Blackpool and one in Fylde.

Neighbouring Blackburn with Darwen borough has yet to have a resident test positive for the potentially deadly disease.