Just days after the government issued a UK lockdown to help limit the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that they have both tested positive for COVID-19.
Boris Johnson’s Announcement
Boris Johnson announced that he tested positive for COVID-19 via Twitter on the morning of Friday, 27th March 2020. In his Twitter post, he said that he had been developing mild COVID-19 symptoms (eg a fever and persistent cough), and was instructed by Chief Medical Officer Chris Witty to take a COVID-19 test – which ultimately came back positive. Although several government officials across the globe have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks, Johnson is one of few government leaders to have contracted the disease. At this time, it is not clear how he was infected. Since testing positive, the Prime Minister said that he has begun self-isolating and will continue to lead the UK government’s COVID-19 response remotely. In the event that Johnson’s symptoms worsen and he is unable to perform his duties as Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be expected to take his place.
Matt Hancock’s Announcement
A few hours after the Prime Minister’s announcement, Hancock revealed that he had also tested positive for COVID-19 via Twitter. The Health Secretary said that his symptoms remain mild and he has begun self-isolating. Hancock also confirmed that he will continue to assist in the UK government’s COVID-19 response remotely while he recovers. Although Hancock is responsible for delivering the government’s daily press conference regarding COVID-19, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Michael Gove is expected to take his place during this time.
For more government information regarding COVID-19, click here.