British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is still in full home quarantine because he has been in contact with a minister who has contracted the corona virus. The government had initially announced that this was not necessary because the Prime Minister would participate in a pilot program and would be tested daily. This led to a storm of criticism.
The government soon backtracked. Johnson’s spokesman said less than three hours after the original announcement that Johnson is not participating in the pilot, according to ITV. The prime minister will remain in his Checkers country residence and will meet digitally with his cabinet members.
Finance Minister Rishi Sunak also renounces participation in the pilot program and goes into home quarantine. He stated on Twitter that he wanted to prevent people from getting the feeling that the same rules do not apply to everyone.
Johnson and Sunak came into the picture in a contact investigation after Health Minister Sajid Javid tested positive for the corona virus. As part of the pilot, daily corona tests would serve as an alternative to a full ten-day home quarantine. Johnson and his minister would then have been able to work in their offices and only isolate themselves outside working hours.
The BBC reports that about twenty organizations are participating in the pilot project. These include rail manager Network Rail and border security service Border Force. The Telegraph newspaper wrote last week that Cabinet Affairs Minister Michael Gove has also used the pilot program to avoid having to be quarantined at home.
According to the newspaper, parliamentarians compare the project with the card “get out of jail without paying” from board game Monopoly. A government source emphasized that the participating government departments employ people who are essential to the country’s governance during the pandemic.
The opposition had reacted annoyed to the news that Johnson could also escape his home quarantine through the pilot. Prominent left-wing Labor Party politician Jo Stevens said on Twitter that the project is not open to “low-income people” who cannot afford to stay away from work. She complained that the conservative government apparently has different rules than the rest of the population.
Half a million people summoned to quarantine
Sky News writes that according to the latest figures, about half a million people have been warned via an official health app in a week that they have been in contact with an infected person. They are called upon to go into home quarantine. According to the channel, companies fear that this could lead to staff shortages, especially now that the number of corona infections is rising.
Johnson, 57, was already infected with the corona virus last year. He then ended up in intensive care. The Prime Minister has now been fully vaccinated. He received the second doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine last month and then called on his compatriots to follow his example and get vaccinated.
See also: Relaxation in England from next Monday
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