British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is not going into full home quarantine despite a corona infection within his cabinet. According to British media, Johnson and his Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak are participating in a pilot program. They will therefore be tested daily to check whether they have also contracted the virus. The opposition reacts critically.
The Prime Minister and Minister Sunak came into the picture with contact investigators after Health Minister Sajid Javid tested positive for the coronavirus. That would normally mean that they would have to quarantine at home for 10 days, but according to the government, this is not necessary, thanks to the new pilot program. Johnson and his minister continue to work in their offices and only isolate themselves outside working hours.
The BBC reports that about twenty organizations are participating in the pilot project. These include rail manager Network Rail and border security service Border Force. Participants who have had contact with infected persons are then tested daily as an alternative to the mandatory home quarantine of one and a half weeks.
The Telegraph newspaper wrote last week that Cabinet Affairs Minister Michael Gove has also used the pilot program to avoid having to be quarantined at home. Parliamentarians would already compare the project to the card “get out of jail without paying” from the board game Monopoly. A government source emphasized that the participating government departments employ people who are essential to the country’s governance during the pandemic.
Yet, the opposition is annoyed by the news that the prime minister does not now have to be quarantined at home. Prominent left-wing Labor Party politician Jo Stevens said on Twitter that the project is not open to “low-income people” who cannot afford to stay away from work. She complained that the conservative government apparently has different rules than the rest of the population.
Sky News writes that according to the latest figures, half a million people have been warned via an official health app in a week that they have been in contact with an infected person. They are called upon to go into home isolation. According to the channel, companies fear that this could lead to staff shortages, especially now that corona infections are rising.
The 57-year-old Johnson was already infected with the coronavirus last year. He then ended up in intensive care. The Prime Minister has now been fully vaccinated. He received the second dose of AstraZeneca’s vaccine previous month and then called on his compatriots to follow his example and get vaccinated.