Boris Johnson tests negative for Covid-19 and will take part in first virtual PMQs

17 November 2020, 13:42 | Updated: 17 November 2020, 14:13

Boris Johnson has tested negative for Covid-19
Boris Johnson has tested negative for Covid-19. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested negative for Covid-19 after having a rapid test, Downing Street has confirmed.

"The PM took a test yesterday and that test was negative," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

"But he will, in accordance with the rules on self-isolation, continue to self-isolate."

The Prime Minister took a rapid turnaround lateral flow test as part of a pilot scheme for No 10 staff.

He has been shut in Downing Street since he received an email saying Tory MP Lee Anderson - who he hosted for a breakfast meeting last Thursday - had tested positive.

Ten Tory MPs are now self-isolating following the breakfast meeting.

The meeting is thought to have lasted about 35 minutes, but attendees did not appear to be wearing face coverings and did not appear to be two metres apart in a photos taken at Downing Street which were posted on social media.

He is working from an office in No 10 that he can reach from his flat in No 11 without coming into contact with Downing Street staff.

The Prime Minister has already had a serious case of Covid-19, which left him in intensive care, and has declared he is "bursting with antibodies".

But No 10 insisted he would continue to follow the rules on self-isolation, which will keep him inside Downing Street until 14 days have elapsed since his meeting with Mr Anderson.

He will therefore answer Prime Minister's Questions remotely on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "The rules have been carefully drawn up on the basis of the best existing medical advice and that is if you have come into contact with someone who later tests positive for coronavirus you do need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days from that first contact.

"It's also the current medical assessment that the fact you have had coronavirus doesn't remove that requirement to self-isolate.

"The rules are the same for everybody in every part of the country and the Prime Minister is following them, the same as every other member of the public."

People who are self-isolating after coming into contact with a positive case are not usually eligible for a test unless they develop symptoms.

But different tests being piloted around the country, including the mass testing scheme in Liverpool which are available to asymptomatic people.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We are piloting these in a wide variety of settings at the moment.

"We are using them in schools, universities, workplaces, Liverpool.

"In No 10 we are taking part in a pilot where some staff have access to a lateral flow test if they wish to."

That pilot scheme in No 10 has been operating for around two weeks, the spokesman revealed.