Boris Johnson still has symptoms one day before his isolation is supposed to end
Boris Johnson is still showing symptoms of coronavirus the day before his seven-day quarantine period was supposed to end, Downing Street has confirmed.
The Prime Minister set aside a week to self-isolate last Friday in accordance with public health advice and has been leading the government via video conference from his flat at Number 10.
Asked whether the PM plans to leave on Friday, a spokesperson said: ‘We’re following the guidelines from Public Health England (PHE) and from the chief medical officer which state that you need to self-isolate for a period of seven days, so no change in that.’
The spokesperson described Mr Johnson’s symptoms as ‘mild’.
PHE advises anyone with a high temperature lasting longer than seven days to call 111 and not immediately return to their normal routine.
However it says a cough can persist for several weeks despite the infection having cleared, and does not mean people need to extend self-isolation past seven days.
The government’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, is also continuing to self-isolate and has not given an update on his condition.
But health secretary Matt Hancock left quarantine today after seven days, giving a press conference setting out a five-point plan to ramp up testing to 100,000 a day.
He said £13.4 billion worth of NHS debt would be written off to ease pressure on health trusts.
Britain reported its biggest day-on-day increase yet in the number of virus-linked deaths today, up 569 to 2,921.
Mr Johnson’s spokesperson said the government is working with suppliers to develop an antibody test, which would show whether someone has contracted the virus at any point.
He said some versions had been proposed that did not meet required accuracy levels ‘and therefore would not have been safe to use’, but that an announcement will be made as soon as a test is approved.
Downing Street also confirmed it was considering so-called ‘immunity passports’ to exempt people who have survived the virus from some of the isolation measures.
Spain was recently forced to return tens of thousands of rapid coronavirus tests from a Chinese supplier which were found to provide inconsistent results.
Certificates have been issued in China to allow people to leave the outbreak’s epicentre, Hubei, although one person who used one to leave the province was later confirmed to have contracted the virus.