Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock both test positive for coronavirus

27 March 2020, 11:18 | Updated: 27 March 2020, 14:34

By Adrian Sherling

Boris Johnson has confirmed that he has tested positive for coronavirus and is now self-isolating.

The Prime Minister says he has mild symptoms or coronavirus - a temperature and a persistent cough - and will continue to lead the government's fight against Covid-19 via video conference.

Writing on Twitter, he said: "Over the last 24 hours I have developed mild symptoms and tested positive for coronavirus.

"I am now self-isolating, but I will continue to lead the government’s response via video-conference as we fight this virus."

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also tested positive for Covid-19 and is also self-isolating.

Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus
Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus. Picture: PA

In a video message, he added: "Be in no doubt that I can continue, due to the wizardry of modern technology, to communicate with all my top team and lead the national fightback against coronavirus.

"I want to thank everybody who is involved, of course, above all our amazing NHS staff.

"It was very moving last night to join in that national clap for the NHS. But it's not just the NHS - it's our police, social care workers, teachers, DWP staff - and by every member of the public who is volunteering."

If Mr Johnson's symptoms worsen and he has to take time off, then Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been named as the "designated survivor" who would take over as temporary Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister has been holding COBRA and Cabinet meetings with her senior team over the last 14 days and so far, it's unclear whether other senior members of the government will now self-isolate.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the Prime Minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty.

“The test was carried out in No 10 by NHS staff and the result of the test was positive.

“In keeping with the guidance, the Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.

“He is continuing to lead the government’s response to coronavirus.”