Michael Gove received coronavirus app alert after trip to Portugal

·2-min read

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove had to abandon a meeting with Boris Johnson and leaders of the devolved nations on Thursday after he was notified he may have come into contact with someone who had coronavirus on a trip to Portugal.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster had gone to Porto with his son to watch the Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City.

Mr Gove has been alerted through the NHS app that he may have been in contact with someone who had the virus.

The Daily Mail reported that it is believed the contact happened on the flight home from Porto.

The Cabinet Office confirmed Mr Gove had been pinged by the app.

Mr Gove had been due to meet the first ministers of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with the Prime Minister in a bid to strengthen the union.

Instead of self-isolating for 10 days, Mr Gove will be able to take part in a pilot scheme for workplaces, including No 10, where he can instead be tested every day for a week.

A Cabinet Office spokesperson said: “The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is participating in the daily contact testing programme after being advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

“He has followed Covid-19 regulations and guidance at all times and will continue to do so.”

But shadow sports minister Alison McGovern said it was unfair that Mr Gove will not have to self-isolate in the same way as ordinary fans who may also have received an alert.

Ms McGovern said: “Doesn’t that sound like one rule for him and one rule for everybody else?”

Earlier, Good Morning Britain presenter Richard Madeley asked Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick: “Forgive my cynicism, but you talk about caution – how is it that your Cabinet colleague Mr Gove has been pinged on track and trace and yet, like the rest of us, he doesn’t have to isolate, he’s just doing tests?”

Mr Jenrick said: “I haven’t spoken to Michael so I don’t know all the details exactly but it sounds like the system worked. He’s taking part in a pilot, as I understand, where people can have slightly different circumstances.

“But I’m sure he’s going to take all of the necessary precautions, he’s not been coming into the office.”

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