Boris Johnson accused of using ‘VIP lane’ to avoid quarantine after Sajid Javid catches Covid


‘One rule for them and something else for the rest of us’: Boris Johnson accused of using ‘VIP lane’ to avoid quarantine after Sajid Javid catches Covid

  • PM is to use public sector scheme that replaces quarantine with daily testing 
  • Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick claimed that scheme was ‘well-known’
  • Used by 20 organisations including Border Force and Transport for London

Boris Johnson was accused today of using a ‘VIP lane’ to skip quarantine after Sajid Javid caught Covid, amid growing fury at his use of a new pilot testing scheme.

Downing Street today revealed that the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak would be using a public sector programme that allows them to leave isolation if they pass a daily lateral flow test.

Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick insisted today that the scheme was ‘well-known’ and was being used by 20 public organisations including Border Force and Transport for London.

But opposition politicians and the public vented their fury at the step, which comes amid spiralling Covid rates and hundreds of thousands of people having to self-isolate after being pinged by the Covid app.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said many people across the UK would be dismayed by the ‘special, exclusive rule’ after it was announced that both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor would not have to self-isolate.

‘There will be parents across the country who have struggled this year when their children have been sent home because they were in a bubble and had to self-isolate,’ he told Sky News.

‘There will be workers across the country that have to isolate because they’ve been pinged, including in public services, including the NHS. 

‘For many of them, waking up this morning to hear that there is a special rule, an exclusive rule, for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, they will be saying that this looks like one rule for them and something else for the rest of us.

Downing Street today revealed that the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak would be using a public sector programme that allows them to leave isolation if they pass a daily lateral flow test. Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick insiste

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said many people across the UK would be dismayed by the 'special, exclusive rule' after it was announced that both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor would not have to self-isolate.

Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said many people across the UK would be dismayed by the ‘special, exclusive rule’ after it was announced that both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor would not have to self-isolate.

The two most senior politicians in the Government are to use a little-known pilot scheme which allows people out of self-isolation every day of they pass a lateral flow test to continue working.

The Health Secretary triggered fears of a disruptive ‘pingdemic’ striking at the heart of Government after reveling yesterday he has tested positive. 

Mr Javid had visited the Commons and Downing Street in previous days – and is understood to have held a lengthy face-to-face meeting with Boris Johnson just before his symptoms developed – sparking concerns that senior figures across Whitehall would have to be confined to home.

One insider warned that ‘half the Cabinet’ could be in isolation by the end of the week.

Richard Walker, the boss of frozen food chain Iceland was among those who blasted the PM today. He tweeted: ‘Shame the hundreds of Iceland staff who’ve been pinged can’t avoid self-isolation. We can all do a daily lateral flow test.’

Dr Ellie Cannon, an NHS GP and Mail on Sunday columnist, has criticised the Government after it was announced that Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak do not have to isolate after coming into contact with Sajid Javid, after he tested positive for Covid-19.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘There have been low points in this pandemic. And then there have been lower points.

‘Perhaps the lowest point for me was watching the funeral prayers of an acquaintance who died in particularly difficult circumstances…

‘Their own child, mourning their parent’s sudden death, was not allowed in the place of worship with family because they were contact isolating from school.

The Health Secretary was also in the Commons on Monday to announce Freedom Day plans to the nation, meeting with senior ministers the same day

The Health Secretary was also in the Commons on Monday to announce Freedom Day plans to the nation, meeting with senior ministers the same day

‘No-one found special pilot schemes for them.’

However, Damian Green, the Conservative MP for Ashford and former first secretary of state, supported the Prime Minister’s decision.

Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky News, Mr Green said: ‘It’s not clear who has got access to it but I think in practical terms allowing the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer to work as normally as possible is actually quite sensible.

‘I hope one of the effects of this is to accelerate the pilot scheme, and indeed the analysis of the pilot scheme, because this might be a way out of the current problems of people not being able to go to work.’



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