View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
27 March 2020

Boris Johnson tests positive for coronavirus

The Prime Minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.

By Patrick Maguire

Boris Johnson has today tested positive for coronavirus and will be self-isolating in Downing Street, the government has announced this morning.

The Prime Minister approached Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, after experiencing mild symptoms yesterday. Whitty recommended Johnson take a test, which returned a positive result at around midnight last night.

He will self-isolate for seven days from his flat above 11 Downing Street, which will now serve in its entirety as office space for the Prime Minister. Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, has vacated his office for Johnson. The doors between 10 and 11 Downing Street have been closed for the duration of the self-isolation period.

Though the Prime Minister left Downing Street while symptomatic yesterday evening, to applaud NHS staff alongside Sunak at 8pm, he observed social distancing measures throughout.

Sunak has not yet shown symptoms and has therefore not been tested. He will not self-isolate. Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State, will deputise for Johnson in the event that he is incapacitated. For now, however, the Prime Minister will continue to work.

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

Downing Street staff will have no direct contact with Johnson and will instead knock on his door to alert him to deliveries of documents and food, before “safely departing”. They have been advised that they do not to self-isolate themselves unless they have symptoms. It is understood that no No 10 staff have so far tested positive.

Johnson has not seen the Queen since 11 March, Buckingham Palace confirmed. Since this week, their weekly Wednesday afternoon audience has been conducted via phone. Downing Street would not be drawn on whether Carrie Symonds, the Prime Minister’s partner, is currently living with him. Symonds, who is pregnant, is in a high risk group.

That the Prime Minister is self-isolating for only seven days, rather than the 14 required for households, suggests they are living apart.

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU