United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson entered self-isolation over the weekend after the country’s National Health Service notified him that he had been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Johnson said on Sunday that he had been “pinged” by the NHS Test and Trace program and asked to self-isolate after coming into contact with someone with the coronavirus. He will be self-isolating until July 26.
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Johnson and his top finance official Rishi Sunak, who also entered isolation, were in face-to-face meetings with U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who on Saturday said he was displaying mild COVID-19 symptoms.
In a series of tweets, Javid later announced he had tested positive for the virus but that is fully vaccinated and only experiencing mild symptoms.
Johnson’s decision to enter self-isolation was a swift reversal from just hours before, when 10 Downing Street said the prime minister would not be isolating but would be entering a special NHS program that would have allowed him to keep working at his office.
Johnson and Sunak initially planned to avoid the mandatory isolation by taking part in an NHS pilot program that would have required them to be tested for COVID-19 every day. After fierce backlash, Johnson reversed his decision and entered isolation.
“We did look briefly at the idea of us taking part in the pilot scheme, which allows people to test daily, but it’s far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules,” Johnson said. Johnson was hospitalized for several days in the spring of 2020 for COVID-19, and he has been vaccinated.