Johnson and Sunak to self-isolate in U-turn, it should never have been in question.
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have been forced into a U-turn and will self-isolate after coming into contact with the health secretary, who has contracted Covid-19.
The reversal comes just hours after they said they would take part in a pilot scheme involving daily testing instead of self-isolation.
It means the prime minister, chancellor and health secretary will all be isolating, along with hundreds of thousands of others due to exposure to coronavirus, when restrictions are dropped across England from Monday.
“One rule for them and another for the rest of us”.
No 10 had initialy said a workplace pilot scheme would allow the prime minister and chancellor to keep working from Downing Street by taking daily tests. A spokesman said they would only be able to carry out essential government business and would self-isolate at all other times.
But the announcement met with an angry response.
Downing Street then carried out a rapid U-turn saying Boris Johnson will conduct meetings remotely at Chequers.
A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The prime minister has been contacted by NHS test and trace to say he is a contact of someone with Covid. He was at Chequers when contacted by test and trace and will remain there to isolate. He will not be taking part in the testing pilot.
“He will continue to conduct meetings with ministers remotely. The chancellor has also been contacted and will also isolate as required and will not be taking part in the pilot.”
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said on Twitter: “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.”
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.— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) July 18, 2021
To that end I’ll be self isolating as normal and not taking part in the pilot.
For Boris Johnson and Rishi Suna, the damage is done, they have shown once again the rules don’t apply to the Tories. The U-turn has done little to curb the social media outcry and condemnation of their elitist attitude.
The health secretary, Javid tested positive on Saturday morning after a meeting at Downing Street the day before, and both Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were contacted by NHS Test and Trace.
Javid was self-isolating on Saturday after testing positive for Covid, as senior public health leaders from across the UK accused Boris Johnson on Sunday of “letting Covid rip” by relaxing legal restrictions.
The health secretary, who is double-vaccinated, said he had mild symptoms and confirmed the result of a lateral flow test with a positive PCR test.
“I will continue to isolate and work from home,” Javid tweeted.