COVID-19: Boris Johnson in isolation again after contact with infected lawmaker

COVID-19: Boris Johnson in isolation again after contact with infected lawmaker

The upheaval could hardly come at a more challenging time for Johnson, and it remains to be seen how it might affect the tone of Brexit negotiations.

Asked if the PM and Mr Anderson followed social distancing rules during their meeting, he said there were rules "around Downing Street being a Covid-secure workplace".

The prime minister was informed that he should self-isolate after being contacted by the country's Test and Trace scheme.

Johnson spent three days in intensive care with coronavirus in April, admitting afterwards that his life hung in the balance and it "could have gone either way".

Johnson said it didn't matter that he has already endured COVID-19 and is "bursting with antibodies". "We've got to interrupt the spread of the disease and one of the ways we can do that now is by self-isolating for 14 days when contacted by Test and Trace".

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said it was right that the prime minister goes into self-isolation even though he's already had coronavirus as people "can catch it twice".

The renewed stay-at-home restrictions and business closures came into force earlier this month and have been met with scepticism that they can halt the worst death toll from the virus in Europe.

"The prime minister is following exactly the same rules as every other person in the country", Hancock told BBC Radio.

Four other Conservative MPs who were at the meeting last week - Katherine Fletcher (South Ribble), Andy Carter (Warrington South), Lia Nici (Great Grimsby) and Brendan Clarke-Smith (Bassetlaw) - are also self-isolating.

Britain is the first European nation to record more than 50,000 coronavirus deaths.

Asked how many vaccines Britain would need, he said it depended on how effective they were at preventing transmission.

Sage member Dr Hopkins said at the briefing: "We see very little effect from Tier 1 and I think when we look at what tiers may be there in the future, we will have to think about strengthening them in order to get us through the winter months until the vaccine is available for everyone".

"So it's a really important step", he added.

After a torrid week when two of his most senior advisers announced their departures from Downing Street, Johnson has tried to signal that his government was moving on with what he has repeatedly called its "ambitious" agenda.

In a video message posted on Twitter on Monday morning, Mr Johnson said he would continue to "lead on our response to the virus & our plans to #BuildBackBetter".

Weekend newspapers were full of reports of bitter rows between rival factions in Downing Street that painted a picture of a government in chaos.

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