Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of Health Matt Hancock tested positive for the coronavirus. Both have mild symptoms and continue to function while isolated.
Downing Street said that Mr. Johnson had a temperature and cough and would be isolated for the next seven days. Authorities have insisted that he will continue to lead the government’s response to the crisis.
Mr. Johnson published a video on Twitter in which he said that the public should “have no doubt that I can continue, thanks to the magic of modern technology, to communicate with all my senior team to lead the national response against the coronavirus”.
His official spokesman said that the Prime Minister “will do the same things” but that “it will be done exclusively by teleconference from him”.
Dominic Raab, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and First Secretary of State, would replace Mr. Johnson if he were incapacitated.
Thursday, after mild symptoms, Johnson was tested for coronavirus by National Health Service staff on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty. He received the test results at midnight.
All work and food will be left at the door of Mr. Johnson’s apartment above No. 11 Downing Street, its official spokesman said Friday.
“Number 11 in its entirety will serve as the Prime Minister’s office and his home – he lives above number 11 in the apartment,” he said.
“The doors between number 10 and number 11 have been closed to all other employees who work in the building. The PM will work from the office and study of number 11, which has been kindly released by the chancellor.
“Complete videoconferencing facilities have been installed in the rooms on the ground floor of number 11. All staff of number 10 will respect England Public Health directives regarding contact with the Prime Minister and will of course remain within two meters of him at all times if he had to. contact.”
Hancock said in a video message that his symptoms were “very mild” and that he would be working from home until next Thursday.
“I will continue to do everything I can to make sure our caregivers get the support they need. And I’m going to do it from here, but with less enthusiasm. “
Questions have been raised about who the Prime Minister could have contacted in recent days.
An undisclosed number of Downing Street staff members also decided to isolate themselves after experiencing mild symptoms.
Number 10 said on Friday that Mr. Johnson’s pregnant fiancé, Carrie Symonds, was not currently living on Downing Street because he would be isolated for seven days, not two weeks, which is the guide for entire households.
Pregnant women are among those who are strongly advised to isolate themselves and limit social contact for up to three months.
Asked whether Mrs. Symonds lived in the apartment, the spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister is of course following all of the directives which have been issued by Public Health England in their entirety.
“His situation is such that he will have to isolate himself for seven days.”
Government officials have confirmed that Chancellor Rishi Sunak has no symptoms of the virus, nor is he self-isolated.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said the Queen last saw Mr. Johnson more than two weeks ago. “Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health,” they said in a statement. “The Queen last saw the Prime Minister on March 11 and is following all appropriate advice regarding her well-being.”
Johnson’s diagnosis comes after Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, became the UK’s most prominent public figure on Wednesday to be confirmed as having a coronavirus.
In his video message, Johnson thanked “everyone involved” for containing the disease and reiterated that the public should follow government instructions regarding social isolation and self-isolation, if applicable.
“The more effectively we all comply with these measures, the faster our country will get through this epidemic and the faster we will rebound,” he said. “So thank you to everyone who does what I do, working from home, to stop the spread of the virus from household to household.
“This is how we are going to win, we are going to beat him and we are going to beat him together.”