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Sat, 11 July 2020

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Boris Johnson self-isolating in Downing Street after testing positive for coronavirus

Boris Johnson self-isolating in Downing Street after testing positive for coronavirus

Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus (PA)

5 min read

Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Prime Minister was tested after complaining of mild symptoms of the deadly disease. He is now self-isolating in Downing Street.

But Number 10 said he will remain in charge of the Government's handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.

“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street. He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.”

The PM revealed the news in a video, saying: “Hi folks, I want to bring you up to speed with something that’s happening today - and that’s I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus.

“That’s to say a temperature and a persistent cough, and on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer I’ve taken a test, that has come out positive so I am working from home, I’m self-isolating, and that’s entirely the right thing to do.

“But be in no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fight-back against coronavirus.”

Shortly after, health secretary Matt Hancock revealed he too had tested positive for the virus, and is also self-isolating for a week, but will continue his work tackling the crisis.

He tweeted: "Following medical advice, I was advised to test for Coronavirus. I‘ve tested positive.

"Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home and self-isolating."

The PM began feeling unwell on Thursday afternoon and his test results came back at midnight the same day.

In response the doors joining Numbers 10 and 11 have now been locked and the plan is for the PM to isolate for seven days, as per the Public Health England guidelines.

Staff have been instructed not to go within two metres of him until he is given the all-clear, and his meals will be left outside the door. 

But the fact it is not a full 14 days in self-quarantine would appear to suggest his partner Carrie Symonds, who is expecting the couple's first child, is not living in Downing Street at the moment.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has also given up his office in Number 11 for the PM to use, and will work full-time from his desk at the Treasury for the time being.

The pair were seen together in Downing Street on Thursday evening to take part in the 8pm clap for the NHS, but kept their distance from one another.

In his video message, Mr Johnson added: “And I want to thank everybody who is involved, above all our amazing NHS staff, it was very moving last night to take part in that national clap for the NHS.

“But its not just the NHS, its our police, our social care workers, teachers, everybody who works in schools, DWP staff, an amazing national effort by the public services and by every member of the British public who is volunteering, an incredible response, 600,000 people have volunteered to take part in a great national effort to protect people from the consequences of coronavirus.

“I want to thank you, I want to thank everybody who is working to keep our country going through this epidemic, we will get through it, and the way we’re going to get through it is of course by applying the measures you will have heard so much about.

“The more effectively we all comply with those measures the faster our country will come through this epidemic, and the faster we will bounce back.

“So thank you to everybody who is doing what I’m doing, working from home, to stop the spread of coronavirus from household to household, that’s the way we’re going to beat it. 

“We’re going to beat it, together. Stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.”

Last week it was confirmed by Downing Street that Dominic Raab would take charge as acting-PM should Mr Johnson fall ill during the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Foreign Secretary was appointed the so-called "designated survivor" - meaning he will be first in line should the Prime Minister be unable to fulfil his duties.

But so far he has not been called on to take charge, after Number 10 said Mr Johnson was able to carry on running the country.

Meanwhile the Labour deputy leadership hopeful Angela Rayner has also revealed she is in isolation after registering symptoms of Covid-19.

She tweeted on Friday morning: "I am now in self isolation as l have the symptoms of Coronavirus they started last night and have gradually got worse.

"I will be a bit quieter than usual but will still be keeping in touch with people as best as l can. Keep safe everybody and remember #StayHomeSaveLives."

Ms Rayner added: "So me and Boris Johnson having the virus is pure coincidence - honest."

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