BORIS Johnson and Matt Hancock have BOTH tested positive for coronavirus, it was announced today.
The PM, 55, was tested after experiencing mild symptoms of a cough and fever yesterday afternoon and will remain in self-isolation in his No11 flat for at least seven days.
Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus, he announced today
Boris Johnson was last snapped last night clapping NHS staff at 8pm – he stayed 2m from anyone else from yesterday afternoon
Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, also has tested positive for the virus
He’s believed to be the first world leader to get the virus, and found out his diagnosis late last night.
And the Health Secretary, 41, announced just hours later that he has it too – and first developed symptoms on Wednesday.
He’ll be working from home for the meantime, he said.
The PM said in a video this morning: “I have developed minor symptoms of the coronavirus, a temperature and a persistent cough and on the advice of the chief medical officer I have taken a test. That has come out positive.
“I am working from home, I am self-isolating, and that is entirely the right thing to do.
“But be in no doubt that I can continue thanks to the wizardry of modern technology to communicate with all my top team to lead the national fightback against coronavirus.
“I want to thank above all our NHS staff.
“It was very moving last night to join the national clap, but it’s not just the NHS, it’s our police, our social care workers, teachers, everybody who works in schools, DWP staff.”
Mr Hancock added: “Following medical advice, I was advised to test for #Coronavirus.
“I‘ve tested positive. Thankfully my symptoms are mild and I’m working from home & self-isolating.
“Vital we follow the advice to protect our NHS & save lives.”
The PM won’t be doing any of the daily press conferences while he is currently ill.
He will have to self-isolate for at least 14 days from his girlfriend and fiance, Carrie Symonds, 32, who is currently pregnant – and in the more “vulnerable” category.
She may be forced to move to the pair’s Camberwell flat instead, while he is sick.
Last night she posted a snap of herself and pet dog Dilyn, online saying she was currently self-isolating.
According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG), the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate symptoms, including a cough, fever and shortness of breath.
But they have advised them to increase their social distancing and stay at home as much as possible.
It comes after the PM was snapped clapping to praise the NHS outside No10 just last night.
A Downing Street spokesperson confirmed the news, saying: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.
“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.
“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.”
At the moment the PM will continue to work, but it may mean that Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, will have to take over duties if the PM becomes more ill.
As the First Secretary of State he is the second most senior person in Government and technically the PM’s deputy.
Just yesterday Boris took part in a G20 call with other leaders around the world to coordinate the international response.
This morning a string of politicians – including Jeremy Corbyn – sent their best wishes to the PM and hoped he had a speedy recovery.
The Labour boss said: “I wish the Prime Minister a speedy recovery and hope his family are safe and healthy.
“Coronavirus can and does affect anyone. Everyone be safe. Our own health depends on everybody else.”
Carrie said she was isolating with her pet dog last night
The PM on a video call with other world leaders on Thursday
The PM’s last No10 press conference on Wednesday where he hailed thousands of NHS volunteers who had signed up
The PM taking Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons on Wednesday
Matt Hancock gave the daily press conference on Tuesday evening – alongside chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries, and National Medical Director at NHS England Stephen Powis
Boris announcing the nationwide shut down on Monday evening
The PM will have to isolate from his partner Carrie, who is pregnant (pictured here last year)
The news has sparked worry about who else he could have infected.
Multiple No10 staff, the Chancellor and possibly Matt Hancock the Health Secretary, could also have to self-isolate if he has spread it to them.
Downing Street said this morning that they did not need to do so unless they develop symptoms – and they were not aware of any other minister having a test.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak, seen with the PM outside No10 last night, has shown no signs of the bug and is not isolating.
Coronavirus victims are thought to be contagious for between two and 12 days before symptoms start appearing.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said: “It looks quite likely that there is some degree of asymptomatic transmission.
“There’s definitely quite a lot of transmission very early in the disease when there are very mild symptoms.”
Amid his busy schedule, Boris normally sees the Queen for their regular audience every week.
However, the PM has not seen Her Majesty in person for more than two weeks.
The Prime Minister had initially been expected to see her face-to-face on March 18 before she left for Windsor.
However, the Queen’s diary has since confirmed the audience was held over the phone.
This means the last time she saw him was March 11 for their weekly chat.
All their following meetings were done by telephone.
Just this week, the palace released a photograph of the Queen, surrounded by dog statues, speaking on the phone with the PM on March 25.
The 93-year-old monarch is currently at Windsor with her 98-year-old husband Prince Philip.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said today: “Her Majesty The Queen remains in good health.
“The Queen last saw the PM on the 11th March and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare.
“We will not be commenting further.”
Prince Charles, 71, meanwhile is in self-isolation in Scotland after testing positive to the bug.
No10 staff will have to stay 2m from him at all times – and will have to drop his meals outside his door.
The news comes just weeks after Boris said that he was continuing to shake hands with everyone, despite the risk of the virus spreading.
Boris and Carrie seen earlier this month watching the rugby
PM and Carrie attended an international womens’ day reception on March 7