The Prime Minister is currently isolating but has no symptoms after possible COVID rules breach
The Prime Minister has went into self-isolation, alongside 5 other Conservative MP’s after meeting with MP Lee Anderson, who later tested positive, without masks or visible distancing.
The PM’s colleagues insist there was no breach of COVID rules despite photographic evidence showing the two without masks, and less than 2 metres apart.
Johnson’s spokesperson said today that, the PM has been engaging in “a mix” of in-person and online meetings, but did not comment on the possibility that Johnson and Anderson could have met online in this instance to reduce risk, and if it was a necessary meeting.
Johnson and Anderson were photographed, maskless, standing about a metre from each other. The spokesperson said the distance was mitigated by the fact the pair were side by side, not face to face.
This is not codified in any COVID regulations and contradicts medical advice, suggesting that this ‘mitigation’ may be invention.
According to Johnson’s spokesman, staff do not wear masks while walking around 10 Downing Street, but indicated that there is a one-way system in place to curb proximity violations.
MP’s and others attending parliament are strongly urged to wear face coverings in communal areas, yet can remove them once inside the Commons chamber, or in their respective offices. Not all MP’s actually wear face coverings in communal areas.
General government advice articulates that where people congregate less than 2 metres away, there should be an attempt to assuage the risk. Screens or ventilation of rooms are such examples. The windows shown in the photo of Johnson and Anderson appear to be closed, suggesting even further COVID rules were not adhered to.
Conservative MPs whom were at the meeting and are now self-isolating are: Brendan Clarke-Smith, the MP for Bassetlaw in Nottinghamshire; Andy Carter, the MP for Warrington South; Lia Nici, the MP for Great Grimsby; Katherine Fletcher, the MP for South Ribble in Lancashire; and Chris Clarkson, who represents Heywood and Middleton in Greater Manchester.
Johnson apparently found out about his risk due to his usage of the Test and Trace app, which contacted him after Lee Anderson tested positive. Johnson said: “Hi folks, the good news is that NHS test and trace is working ever more efficiently, but the bad news is that they’ve pinged me and I’ve got to self isolate because someone I was in contact with a few days ago has developed Covid.”
Johnson, who has already had COVID-19, is not necessarily protected against reinfection: research on the subject suggests antibodies may protect an individual for up to 5 months, but research is in the experimental stage with no concrete conclusions on the matter.
He is expected to isolate for 14 days, as is regulation.
Feature Image Credit: PA MEDIA