Covid: Michael Gove pinged by NHS app - but does not have to self-isolate

4 June 2021, 14:01

Michael Gove will not need to self-isolate after his NHS app pinged
Michael Gove will not need to self-isolate after his NHS app pinged. Picture: PA

By Will Taylor

Michael Gove will be tested for Covid-19 daily after being pinged by the NHS app after flying back from Portugal, reports say.

The Cabinet Office minister was in the country – which was on the UK's green list before being bumped down to amber – for the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on Saturday.

However, Mr Gove will not need to self-isolate for 10 days. Instead, he will be tested daily as part of a pilot scheme to see if that is a viable alternative to self-isolation.

A spokesperson for the Cabinet Office said: "The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is participating in the daily contact testing programme after being advised to isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

"He has followed Covid-19 regulations and guidance at all times and will continue to do so."

Read more: Holidaymakers scramble to get back from Portugal before quarantine begins

Read more: Why has Portugal been taken off the green list? What happens if I booked a holiday?

ITV said Mr Gove had to drop a meeting with Boris Johnson and the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish first ministers on Thursday.

He had travelled to watch the Champions League final, one of the most important matches in football, with his teenage son.

The daily testing study, led by the UK Health Security Agency, is designed to see if people who come into contact with confirmed coronavirus cases can avoid having to self-isolate.

The Government said reducing the time people have to self-isolate will mean they do not have to miss work and can continue participating in society.

Under the present system, anyone who is notified through NHS Test and Trace that they were a contact of a positive Covid case must self-isolate for 10 days.

Read more: When will Portugal move to the amber list?

The test regime being studied is aimed at people who do not have symptoms, and sees seven days' worth of lateral flow tests get sent out.

Each recipient must test themselves every morning for a week.