Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is isolating after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus amid diplomatic challenges with the US over the election chaos.
Mr Raab will work remotely during 14 days of isolation after being told of a recent close contact’s positive test on Thursday, a spokesman for the Cabinet minister said.
The UK is entering a difficult phase in its relationship with the US after Donald Trump plunged the nation into crisis by falsely claiming victory and mounting legal challenges.
Not only have there been calls to criticise the president’s behaviour, but Britain is under pressure to improve relations with Joe Biden, the Democratic challenger who is favourite to lead the White House.
Mr Raab’s spokesman said: “The Foreign Secretary was today informed that an individual with whom he has been in recent close contact with has tested positive for coronavirus.
“In line with Government regulations and NHS track and trace rules, the Foreign Secretary has taken immediate steps to self-isolate for the required period. He will continue to work remotely during this time.”
The Foreign Secretary, along with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has refused to criticise the Republican leader for claiming there is a “fraud on the American nation” and saying he would use the US Supreme Court to get vote counting stopped.
Mr Raab said that “we need to be patient” and await the outcome of the election, insisting “we have full confidence in the checks and balances of the US system to produce a result”.
He insisted he would not get “sucked in” to the debate around Mr Trump’s actions, which have been widely criticised as threatening democracy itself.