COVID-19: Boris Johnson not expecting to isolate after member of his staff tests positive

The prime minister is not expected to isolate after taking a flight this week with a member of his staff who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Boris Johnson was on the same plane as the person but did not come within two metres of them, Sky News understands.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister regularly visits communities across the UK and all aspects of visits are carried out in line with COVID guidance.

“The prime minister has not come into close contact with anyone who has tested positive.”

Mr Johnson was in Scotland this week where he discussed COP26 policing with the head of Police Scotland and visited an offshore wind farm.

The staff member who tested positive for COVID-19 isolated in Scotland and “all those identified as close contacts were told to do the same”, The Guardian reported.

Government guidance on what constitutes a close contact says: “A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.”

Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party chair, said: “It’s clear the Prime Minister hasn’t learned anything from what happened last time he tried to cook up a reason to be above the rules everyone else has to follow.

“Senior Conservatives are really taking the public for fools. This is yet another example of one rule for them and another for everyone else.”

On 16 August, the rules will change to allow those who are fully vaccinated to not isolate if they are identified as a close contact of somebody who tests positive for COVID-19.

Last month, both Mr Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak had to isolate for 10 days after coming into close contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive.

They initially said they could avoid isolation as they would take part in a daily testing pilot scheme but that was met with outrage, prompting a U-turn.

Mr Johnson spent his self-isolation at Chequers, where he took part in Prime Minister’s Questions via video link in the final week before parliament broke up for the summer recess.

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