Related video: Health Secretary Sajid Javid tests positive for Covid
Boris Johnson does not have to isolate himself despite being ‘pinged’ by the Covid Test and Trace app after Sajid Javid revealed that he had tested positive for Covid-19.
Instead, the prime minister will undergo a “daily contact test” pilot scheme with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who also came in contact with the health secretary after he contracted the virus.
The news on Saturday that Mr Javid had contracted the coronavirus meant that a number of ministers and senior officials feared being confined to their homes, just as restrictions on lockdown in England ended on Monday.
It comes as former Ukip leader Nigel Farage has been summoned to present a program on the GB News channel amid stubbornly dismal ratings.
Deputy Director Angela Rayner has criticized the government after it was announced that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak do not need to isolate themselves despite being contacted by the NHS Test and Trace, after Sajid Javid tested positive for Covid-19.
She wrote on Twitter: “Sorry for the unparliamentary language, but it just takes p ***.
“Not following the rules they created and which they expect my constituents to follow.
“This government treats the public with contempt and believes that they are above the law and that the rules do not apply to them.”
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 09:09
The government is considering expanding vaccines for children
Cabinet Secretary Robert Jenrick has said the government is considering expanding the Covid vaccine rollout to children.
He spoke on the issue on Sky News: “We want to take advice from JCVI [Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation], we have not yet received their final advice on whether the vaccine should be extended to include children.
“It seems like a sensible thing to do, and so we will look closely at their advice when we receive it, we expect very soon whether we should first open the vaccine program for the children who are just under 18- anniversary of the children who have special vulnerabilities and the children who are in households where there are people who are particularly vulnerable.
“It seems like a sensible way for us to continue, but ministers will have to make that decision once they are armed with the final advice from JCVI.”
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 09:02
Jenrick defends test trial plan offered PM to avoid isolation
Robert Jenrick has defended the Covid test pilot, who has allowed Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak to avoid self-isolation.
The housing secretary told Sky News that the scheme, offered to older members of the government, was also available to 20 organizations, including the Border Force and Transport for London, and would allow them to continue to carry out “important government work”.
He said a special test center had been set up in Downing Street, adding that it was still a relatively restrictive regime as the prime minister and chancellor had to avoid social gatherings and stay home when they did not hold government meetings.
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 08:50
Nigel Farage hosts new GB News show
Nigel Farage is set to headline a new primetime show on GB News as the right-wing TV startup struggles to draw viewers in.
The former Ukip leader will present an hour-long program just called Farage from Monday to Thursday.
He is currently presenting a Sunday morning show on the channel, but will receive a more high-profile spot, which producers hope will put a gap in ratings.
Here’s more about the story:
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 08:39
Boris Johnson pinged after contact with Covid-positive Sajid Javid – but exempted from self-isolation
Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak have both been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace as contact persons for Health Secretary Sajid Javid after testing positive for Covid – but the couple will avoid self-isolation during a “daily contact test” pilot scheme.
Here is the groundbreaking story:
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 08:21
Lib Dems says Javid infection is increasing the case to delay unlocking
The Liberal Democrats claim that Sajid Javid’s positive test underlines the case for the government to reconsider its plans to fully unlock from Monday.
The party’s spokeswoman for health, Munira Wilson, said: “This shows that no one is safe from this deadly virus.
“By easing all the constraints of rising cases, they are experimenting with people’s lives.
“Right now, they are pursuing a strategy for the survival of the fittest, in which the young and clinically vulnerable will become defenseless.”
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 08:08
PM could be hit by ‘pingdemic’ as Javid tests positive for Covid
Boris Johnson was able to join the hundreds of thousands caught by the “ping-pong demeanor” and told to isolate himself after Health Secretary Sajid Javid revealed he has tested positive for coronavirus.
It is understood that Mr Javid held a lengthy meeting with the Prime Minister at 10 Downing Street on Friday, just hours before he felt groggy in the evening.
He underwent a rapid reversal test in lateral flow test on Saturday morning, which said he was suffering from Covid-19 infection, despite having received two vaccine shocks. The health secretary said later Saturday night that the results had been confirmed by a PCR test.
The positive result triggered a new Covid scare in the heart of the government.
But like ours political editor Andrew Woodcock reports, face-to-face meetings in Downing Street are routinely conducted in accordance with social distance guidelines, so it is possible that the Prime Minister avoids being identified as a contact.
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 07:58
Good morning and welcome to The independent‘s rolling coverage of political events Sunday as senior government members wait to hear if they will spend their self-described “Freedom Day” tomorrow behind closed doors.
Tom BatchelorJuly 18, 2021 07:55