The Speaker
Monday, 20 May 2024 – 22:56

PM and Chancellor self-isolating following u-turn

The Prime Minister, the Chancellor and the Health Secretary are all now self-isolating after Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for COVID-19.

Mr Javid tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday morning, having attended a meeting in Downing Street the day before. Both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, though for a period on Sunday morning, it appeared the pair would not be isolating.

10 Downing Street had said that a pilot scheme would allow the Prime Minister and Chancellor to keep working from Downing Street to work on essential government business if they took daily coronavirus tests. However, this sparked uproar on Sunday and led to a U-turn just hours later.

Opposition MPs and many members of the public took to social media on Sunday to suggest there is one rule for government ministers and another for the rest of the public. Many viewed the Prime Minister potentially taking part in the pilot as unfair, with there currently vast numbers of people around the country being told to self-isolate.

The Prime Minister is now isolating at Chequers, the PM’s country estate where he was when contacted by Test and Trace – Mr Sunak will also isolate. Speaking on Twitter, the Chancellor said, “Whilst the test and trace pilot is fairly restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognise that even the sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong.”

Cases of COVID-19 have been rising rapidly recently. In the last 7 days, 316,691 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the UK, an increase of 43.3% on the previous 7-day period. The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, had been double vaccinated at the time of contracting the virus.

Coronavirus restrictions are set to be eased in England from Monday, but there are fears that essential shops and other services may have to close if the number of people being told to self-isolate continues to increase.


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