SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 29 July 2021, Thursday |

UK PM and chancellor to self-isolate in U-turn

The UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will now self-isolate after contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for coronavirus.

The reversal comes just hours after they said they would take part in a pilot scheme involving daily testing instead of self-isolation.

Opposition parties had said it proposed there was “one rule for them and another for the rest of us”.

Downing Street said Johnson will conduct meetings remotely at Chequers.

Sunak said on Twitter: “Whilst the test and trace pilot is fairly restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognize that even the sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong.”

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the prime minister and chancellor had been “busted yet again for thinking the rules that we are all following don’t apply to them”.

“The public have done so much to stick to the rules. At a time when we need to maintain confidence in self isolation, parents, workers and businesses will be wondering what on earth is going on in Downing Street,” he said.

Javid tested positive on Saturday morning after a meeting at Downing Street the day before, and both Johnson and Sunak were contacted by NHS Test and Trace.