Covid-19: PM and chancellor to self-isolate in U-turn

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The premier curate and chancellor volition present self-isolate arsenic mean aft interaction with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested affirmative for coronavirus.

The reversal comes conscionable hours aft they said they would instrumentality portion successful a aviator strategy involving regular testing.

Opposition parties said it suggested determination was "one regularisation for them and different for the remainder of us".

Downing Street said Boris Johnson volition behaviour meetings remotely astatine Chequers.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said connected Twitter: "Whilst the trial and hint aviator is reasonably restrictive, allowing lone indispensable authorities business, I recognise that adjacent the consciousness that the rules aren't the aforesaid for everyone is wrong."

Labour person Sir Keir Starmer said the premier curate and chancellor had been "busted yet again for reasoning the rules that we are each pursuing don't use to them".

"The nationalist person done truthful overmuch to instrumentality to the rules. At a clip erstwhile we request to support assurance successful aforesaid isolation, parents, workers and businesses volition beryllium wondering what connected world is going connected successful Downing Street," helium said.

"The mode the premier curate conducts himself creates chaos, makes for atrocious authorities and has deadly consequences for the British public."

Labour's Jonathan Ashworth had earlier told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show that it was unfair that politicians appeared to person entree to "VIP testing" to debar self-isolation, portion Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey asked if it was lone disposable to "the privileged few".

The managing manager of the Iceland supermarket, Richard Walker, besides criticised the connection for Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak to debar self-isolation.

"Shame the hundreds of Iceland unit who've been pinged can't debar self-isolation. We tin each bash a regular lateral travel test," helium said.

'One of the fastest authorities U-turns ever'

This indispensable beryllium 1 of the fastest authorities U-turns ever: 157 minutes aft saying the PM and chancellor wouldn't beryllium isolating, Downing Street decided they would.

The crushed is acceptable retired by Rishi Sunak connected Twitter - ministers can't beryllium seen to beryllium pursuing antithetic rules to everyone else.

But questions volition beryllium asked astir wherefore No 10 initially said they would beryllium escaping isolation. Who made the decision? Who signed it off? The premier curate and chancellor indispensable person known astir the plan.

There's besides the information that the PM and chancellor had the prime implicit whether to isolate - which astir radical don't astatine the moment.

The governmental symbolism is besides highly significant. Three elder authorities ministers volition beryllium successful isolation connected the time astir each ineligible restrictions are lifted successful England.

Mr Javid tested affirmative connected Saturday greeting aft a gathering astatine Downing Street the time before, and some Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

No 10 had said a workplace aviator strategy would let the premier curate and chancellor to support moving from Downing Street by taking regular tests. A spokesperson said they would lone beryllium capable to transportation retired indispensable authorities concern and would self-isolate astatine each different times.

Stepping successful for Mr Javid, who is self-isolating aft his affirmative test, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick had defended the program connected the Andrew Marr Show.

"The strategy is simply a good known and long-standing one, it's not conscionable disposable for politicians," helium said. But helium added that his ain section was not portion of the scheme.

Case numbers are continuing to emergence up of the lifting of ineligible rules connected societal interaction successful England connected Monday, but businesses person raised concerns astir unit shortages owed to the numbers of radical being told to self-isolate.

More than half a cardinal alerts telling radical to self-isolate were sent by the NHS Covid-19 app successful England and Wales successful the archetypal week of July, with unions saying it was causing "havoc" connected accumulation lines.

But Mr Jenrick said self-isolation was "an important portion of keeping the microorganism nether control", adding that a survey had showed the NHS Covid app had prevented 600,000 infections and 8,000 deaths.

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