Judge Rinder refused to pay for private coronavirus test when NHS staff couldn't get them

BRACKNELL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 06: Robert Rinder trains on a cycle track on February 06, 2020 in Bracknell, England. The celebrities are training for Sport Relief: On Thin Ice, as they prepare to cycle, skate and trek 100 miles across Lake Khövsgöl in Mongolia. (Photo by Joe Maher/Comic Relief/Getty Images)
Robert Rinder believes he has had COVID-19. (Getty Images)

Judge Rinder refused to pay for a coronavirus test when he was displaying symptoms because NHS staff had not been given access to them.

The 41-year-old TV presenter and lawyer believes he has had COVID-19 and spent 20 days in self-isolation after suffering a high fever and a persistent cough.

Private tests are available at a price, but the government has not yet provided frontline NHS staff with tests to enable them to learn whether or not they have immunity to the disease.

Rinder told This Morning: “I'm just through the other side of it. It's been 20 days. And I feel well now.

"I think I did [have coronavirus] but because front-line NHS staff can’t get tests I refused to pay for one. But I’m sure I'm fine.

He described his symptoms as: “Terrible temperature, appalling cough and lying with my feet on the ground. My head on the bed, in a coma watching the Kardashians. So I must have been really ill."

Photo by: zz/John Nacion/STAR MAX/IPx 2019 12/16/19 Sabrina Dhowre Elba and Idris Elba at the world premiere of "Cats" held at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (NYC)
Idris Elba and wife Sabrina have tested positive for coronavirus. (AP)

Actor Idris Elba received some criticism after revealing he had tested positive for COVID-19 – using a private test he had paid for.

The Luther star said: “I think the debate about rich and poor and who’s getting it and who’s not, I think, is not a healthy debate.

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"It’s like, I got a test but I also got Covid. Does that make me preferential? I don’t understand that.”

Meanwhile, Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder believes he has had coronavirus, but joked he is used to self-isolation.

The 57-year-old singer and recovered drug addict lives with wife Joanne and and three of his children – Oliver, 26, Pearl, 12, and Lulu, 11.

Shaun Ryder in the press room during the Q Awards 2018 in association with Absolute Radio at the Camden Roundhouse, London. (Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)
Shaun Ryder believes he has had COVID-19. (Getty Images)

Ryder told Sky News he and has wife had been ill three weeks ago.

He said: "I'm pretty sure we've had it. We had symptoms of it. I mean, nothing puts my missus in bed; no matter what, she'll still get up even if she's dying, but this floored her. She was in bed for over a week.

"She had pretty much everything they said: couldn't move, found it hard breathing. Then I went down with the old headaches and flu-type symptoms. I had no energy but nothing that I'd go to A&E with, I coped with it at home.

Read more: Linda Lusardi back at home after life-threatening coronavirus battle

"So, you know, I think a lot of people have had it [but not been confirmed]."

The 24 Hour Party People singer is hoping to learn chess while in self-isolation and apart from work is used to staying at home.

Ryder quipped: "I'm sure if I was 21 or even 29 and this was happening, I don't think I could stick to it.

"Although I just thought, I was addicted to heroin at that time so actually I could probably just sit in the chair and nod off all day."

Other celebrities to have tested positive for coronavirus include former Emmerdale star Linda Lusardi, Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks and his actress wife Rita Wilson and former Bond girl Olga Kurylenko.