U.K.’s Johnson reverses plan to skip COVID-19 quarantine after backlash

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson volition walk 10 days self-isolating aft interaction with a confirmed COVID-19 case, his bureau said Sunday — reversing an earlier announcement that helium would not person to quarantine aft facing an uproar.

Johnson’s 10 Downing St. bureau said the premier curate and Treasury main Rishi Sunak were some alerted overnight by England’s test-and-trace telephone app. Both had met precocious with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested affirmative for COVID-19 connected Saturday. Javid, who has been afloat vaccinated, says helium is experiencing mild symptoms.

People who are notified done the app are expected to self-isolate for 10 days, though it is not a ineligible requirement.

But Johnson’s bureau initially said the premier curate and Sunak would alternatively instrumentality regular coronavirus tests arsenic portion of an alternate strategy being piloted successful immoderate workplaces, including authorities offices.

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That program was reversed little than 3 hours aboriginal aft an outcry implicit evident peculiar attraction for politicians. Downing St. said Johnson would self-isolate astatine Chequers, the premier minister’s state residence, and “will not beryllium taking portion successful the investigating pilot.” It besides said Sunak would self-isolate.

In a video message, Johnson said helium and Sunak had “briefly” considered taking portion successful the aviator scheme.

“But I deliberation it is acold much important that everyone sticks to the aforesaid rules, and that’s wherefore I’m going to beryllium self-isolating until Monday, July 26,” helium said.

Keir Starmer, person of the absorption Labour Party, likened Johnson’s Conservative authorities to slope robbers who “got caught and person present offered to springiness the wealth back.”

“Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak person been busted yet again for reasoning the rules that we are each pursuing don’t use to them,” helium said. “The mode the premier curate conducts himself creates chaos, makes for atrocious authorities and has deadly consequences for the British public.”
Britain is experiencing rising coronavirus cases owed to the much infectious delta variant, and is seeing a related “ping-demic” of hundreds of thousands of radical being told to quarantine due to the fact that they person been adjacent idiosyncratic who tested positive.

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Whole classes person been sent location from schools. Hospitals are abbreviated of workers. Businesses including restaurants, car manufacturers and the London subway accidental they are facing unit shortages due to the fact that of the self-isolation rules.

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Many London theaters, which person lone precocious resumed performances arsenic restrictions eased, person had to cancel performances due to the fact that formed and unit members were told to quarantine. On Sunday, Kenneth Branagh’s theatre institution announced it was canceling the full tally of its amusement “The Browning Version” due to the fact that of “an expanding fig of COVID-enforced absences.”

The authorities says it volition region the request for radical who person been afloat vaccinated to self-isolate aft interaction with an infected person, but not until Aug. 16.

Johnson was earnestly sick with coronavirus successful April 2020, spending 3 nights hospitalized successful intensive care.

In a interaction of irony, his spell successful isolation comes arsenic his authorities prepares to assistance remaining lockdown measures connected Monday. Nightclubs tin reopen successful England for the archetypal clip since March 2020, sports and amusement venues tin admit capableness crowds and look masks are nary longer mandatory indoors. Thousands of radical were readying to spell clubbing erstwhile the timepiece struck midnight Sunday.

But the authorities is urging radical to beryllium cautious, arsenic cases surge due to the fact that of the delta variant, archetypal identified successful India. More than 54,000 caller infections were confirmed Saturday, the highest regular full since January. COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are besides rising, but stay acold little than astatine erstwhile corruption peaks acknowledgment to wide vaccination. More than 87% of British adults person had 1 vaccine changeable and 68% person had some shots.

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Still, British officials are looking nervously astatine Israel and the Netherlands, some of which opened up wide aft vaccinating astir of their radical but had to reimpose immoderate restrictions aft caller corruption surges. The Dutch premier curate admitted that opening up excessively aboriginal “was a mistake.”

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