Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have decided that they will Do not participate in the pilot test plan After widespread condemnation over his inclusion, he was exempted from self-isolation.
The pair were exempted from self-isolation rules after being exposed to Covid-19 through Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
Mr Johnson had a lengthy meeting with Mr Javid on Friday. on Saturday, Mr Javid announces he has tested positive for the virus.
A Number 10 spokesman said the daily contact test pilot scheme would have allowed them to work on “essential government business” from Downing Street, without self-isolating.
Less than two hours after their participation in the plan was announced, they both dropped out.
Cabinet Minister Michael Gove also had access to the scheme in June., after traveling back from Portugal after watching the Champions League final.
what’s the plan?
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said on Sunday that the test-and-release pilot being used by ministers is being tested by around 20 public sector organisations, including Border Force and Transport for London.
He said Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak would have been tested daily at a “special asymptomatic testing centre” which has been set up in Downing Street, but they would not be allowed to socialise.
What has been the reaction?
His announcement of a waiver had drawn fierce condemnation after the NHS app advised half a million people to self-isolate in the first week of July – the sharp rise in alerts has been dubbed “pingdemic”.
It is legally required for someone to self-isolate when called by the NHS Test and Trace team, but self-isolation after receiving an app alert is strongly encouraged but not legally enforced.
Labor’s shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said it was “beggars trust” that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak were allowed to use “special VIP lanes”.
Shadow Mental Health Minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said: “The half-million people pinged by the Test and Trace app last week had to isolate themselves. Boris Johnson finds it very inconvenient so breaks the rules. “
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lamy condemned the government, calling it “a sordid, fake joke”.
When Mr Jenrick was told on Sky News that it appeared to be “a rule for him and a rule for the rest of us”, he acknowledged that receiving warnings of self-isolation is “disappointing”, but insisted that Said that people should ping self-separately.
Thousands of people are being advised to self-isolate, leaving many workplaces unable to operate due to a severe shortage of staff. Lord Billimoria, president of the Confederation of British Industry, has warned that the number of people advised to self-isolate for 10 days could rise by nearly four million.
What about everyone else?
Covid restrictions are due to be lifted in England on Monday, but self-isolation rules for people living in the presence of someone who has tested positive will not be relaxed until 16 August.
From that date, those who are double-jaded will be able to get tested instead of self-isolating.
Since May, a comprehensive contact testing scheme was launched by Public Health England and NHS Test and Trace, with an effort to include more than 40,000 people to see if the 10-day isolation period is safe. can be reduced substantially or not.
The people were listed after the NHS Test and Trace team called them to be exposed to the virus.
The contacts need to get themselves tested every morning for seven days with lateral flow tests sent to their homes. The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said each day they test negative and develop no symptoms, they are exempt from legal duty to self-isolate and can leave home for “essential activity”. .
independent Contacted DHSC to confirm whether this comprehensive pilot scheme was the one that ministers had access to.