COVID-19: Ministers wait to learn if they face quarantine after Sajid Javid tests positive for coronavirus

·3-min read

Ministers and officials are waiting to hear if they will have to isolate after it was confirmed Sajid Javid has tested positive for coronavirus and is experiencing "mild" symptoms.

The health secretary, who has had both jabs of a vaccine, said on Saturday evening a PCR test had confirmed the result of a rapid lateral flow test on Friday that he has contracted the virus.

In a message posted on his Twitter feed, he said: "My positive result has now been confirmed by PCR test, so I will continue to isolate and work from home."

The positive result could potentially mean that Boris Johnson, as well as other senior cabinet colleagues and officials will be confined to their homes when lockdown restrictions in England finally end on Monday.

The prime minister was reported to have had a lengthy meeting with Mr Javid in No 10 on Friday - but Downing Street would not comment on suggestions that he could be among those who may need to self-isolate.

Mr Javid's coronavirus symptoms emerged just three days after he visited a care home in Streatham, south London.

He was there on Tuesday, having earlier been in parliament. He returned to the Commons on Wednesday and spoke about the Health and Care Bill in the afternoon.

Photo agency Politics Pics has taken pictures of Mr Javid leaving Number 10 Downing Street on Friday at around 10.15am after reportedly meeting with Boris Johnson.

Sajid Javid's movements this week:

  • Monday: Makes statement in Commons at 3.30pm on latest COVID measures

  • Tuesday: Visits care home in Streatham, south London

  • Wednesday: Speaks in the Commons on the Health and Care Bill from 4pm

  • Friday: Pictures show health secretary leaving Number 10 Downing Street at 10.15am

  • Saturday: Reveals he has tested positive for COVID-19 and is self-isolating at home

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During his visit to Aashna House care home earlier this week, Mr Javid said he wanted to "thank care home staff" and "staff across the country for the incredible work they have been doing".

He said: "Their job is hard enough in normal times, but of course during the pandemic, it was so much harder."

He added that reforms in the social care sector will be a "huge priority" for him.

Mr Javid tweeted on 17 March that he had received a first shot of Oxford/AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine and posted a picture of him getting a second dose on 16 May.

While coronavirus vaccines are not 100% effective at preventing infection, fully vaccinated people are less likely to experience severe symptoms even if they test positive.

Mr Javid was made health secretary after Mr Hancock gave into pressure to quit over a leaked video of him kissing departmental aide Gina Coladangelo in his office.

Former chancellor and home secretary Mr Javid said he was "honoured" to be appointed to the role - just 90 minutes after Downing Street announced Mr Hancock had quit.

Mr Javid also follows Mr Hancock in having had COVID - his predecessor tested positive in the early days of the pandemic and so did Mr Johnson, who ended up in intensive care in April 2020.

Not long before he revealed he'd tested positive for COVID, Mr Javid commented on holidaymakers returning to England from France having to self-isolate when they get back even if they are fully vaccinated.

Following the surprise policy U-turn on Friday night, he said: "We have always been clear that we will not hesitate to take rapid action at our borders to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the gains made by our successful vaccination programme."

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