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In U-turn, British prime minister to quarantine after COVID-19 contact

Boris Johnson reversed plans after public outcry.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently came into contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. [ DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS | AP ]
Published Jul. 18

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will spend 10 days self-isolating after contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, his office said Sunday — reversing an earlier announcement that he would not have to quarantine after facing an uproar.

Johnson’s 10 Downing St. office said the prime minister and Treasury chief Rishi Sunak were both alerted overnight by England’s test-and-trace phone app. Both had met recently with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. Javid, who has been fully vaccinated, says he is experiencing mild symptoms.

People who are notified through the app are supposed to self-isolate for 10 days, though it is not a legal requirement.

But Johnson’s office initially said the prime minister and Sunak would instead take daily coronavirus tests as part of an alternative system being piloted in some workplaces, including government offices.

That plan was reversed less than three hours later after an outcry over apparent special treatment for politicians.