Boris Johnson Incorrectly Says People Will Get £500 A Week To Self-Isolate

Ned Simons
·Politics news editor, HuffPost UK
·2-min read

Boris Johnson has said people on low incomes will receive £500 a week from the government if they have to self-isolate. He is wrong.

Under the policy, it is a one-off payment of £500 for the entire 14-day period.

Speaking to reporters on Monday morning, the prime minister said it was important for people to isolate if they were found to have been in contact with somebody who has coronavirus.

″That’s the way to make it wor –. £500 if you do, per week, and a £10,000 fine if you don’t,” he said. “It creates a firebreak around the incident and helps us to fight the virus.”

According to the government’s website, just under four million people who are in receipt of benefits in England will be eligible for the £500 payment.

It was introduced from September 28 when it was made illegal to ignore an order from NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.

Anyone breaching self-isolation can be fined £1,000, increasing to £10,000 for repeat offences.

It is not the first time the prime minister has mangled an explanation of his own coronavirus policies.

Last week Johnson apologised and said he “misspoke” when he was not able to explain the lockdown rules for the north-east of England.

It comes as the weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases soared in dozens of areas of, following the addition of nearly 16,000 cases that went unreported because of a technical error with an Excel spreadsheet.

The problem has led to a delay in efforts by NHS Test and Trace to find the contacts of those who tested positive for the virus, in some cases by around a week.

Johnson was unable to say on Monday morning how many contacts of positive coronavirus cases had been missed.

“I can’t give you those figures,” he said. “What I can say is all those people are obviously being contacted and the key thing is that everybody, whether in this group or generally, should self-isolate.”

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said the error was “shambolic”, adding that “people across the country will be understandably alarmed.”

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.