PM tests negative for coronavirus but remains in self-isolation

·3-min read

Boris Johnson has tested negative for coronavirus but will remain in self-isolation, Downing Street said.

The Prime Minister took a rapid turnaround lateral flow test as part of a pilot scheme for No 10 staff.

“The PM took a test yesterday and that test was negative,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

“But he will, in accordance with the rules on self-isolation, continue to self-isolate.”

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The Prime Minister has been shut in Downing Street since he received an email saying Tory MP Lee Anderson – who he hosted for a breakfast meeting last Thursday – had tested positive.

Mr Johnson will answer Prime Minister’s Questions remotely on Wednesday, Downing Street said.

He is working from an office in No 10 that he can reach from his flat in No 11 without coming into contact with Downing Street staff.

The Prime Minister has already had a serious case of Covid-19, which left him in intensive care, and has declared he is “bursting with antibodies”.

But No 10 insisted he would continue to follow the rules on self-isolation, which will keep him inside Downing Street until 14 days have elapsed since his meeting with Mr Anderson.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The rules have been carefully drawn up on the basis of the best existing medical advice and that is if you have come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus you do need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from that first contact.

“It’s also the current medical assessment that the fact you have had coronavirus doesn’t remove that requirement to self-isolate.

“The rules are the same for everybody in every part of the country and the Prime Minister is following them, the same as every other member of the public.”

Coronavirus – Sun Nov 15, 2020
Screengrab taken from Facebook of Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield, alongside Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Facebook/PA)

People who are self-isolating after coming into contact with a positive case are not usually eligible for a test unless they develop symptoms.

But different tests being piloted around the country, including the mass testing scheme in Liverpool which are available to asymptomatic people.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We are piloting these in a wide variety of settings at the moment.

“We are using them in schools, universities, workplaces, Liverpool.

“In No 10 we are taking part in a pilot where some staff have access to a lateral flow test if they wish to.”

That pilot scheme in No 10 has been operating for around two weeks, the spokesman revealed.