No10 denies claims PM was "side-by-side" aide who tested positive for Covid

6 August 2021, 18:37

Downing Street has denied that the Prime Minister has come into contact with a staff member who tested positive for Covid-19
Downing Street has denied that the Prime Minister has come into contact with a staff member who tested positive for Covid-19. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Downing Street has denied claims that Boris Johnson has come into close contact with a staff member who tested positive for coronavirus.

The Guardian reported on Friday that a Number 10 civil servant taking part in the Prime Minister's visit to Scotland had to isolate after testing positive.

The newspaper also said the two were "side-by-side" on several occasions, yet Boris Johnson is not isolating.

They claimed the staff member isolated in Scotland after testing positive and "all those identified as close contacts were told to do the same".

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A Number 10 spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister regularly visits communities across the UK and all aspects of visits are carried out in line with Covid guidance.

"The Prime Minister has not come into close contact with anyone who has tested positive."

Labour has criticised Boris Johnson, describing the decision as "another example of one rule for them and another for everyone else".

The rules regarding quarantine change on August 16, allowing those who are fully vaccinated to avoid isolation.

However, current rules state anyone who is a close contact of a positive case or is notified by Test and Trace must isolate for 10 days.

In July, Mr Johnson and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak both had to isolate for 10 days, after coming into close contact with Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who became infected with Covid.

No10 initially said the pair would participate in a daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street.

But just two hours later, amid accusations of double standards, they pulled a full U-turn, withdrawing from the pilot scheme and confirming they would isolate.