Key questions after Boris Johnsons announces he has Covid-19

As Boris Johnson announces he has tested positive for coronavirus, the PA news agency looks at questions surrounding his diagnosis and what could happen going forward.

– What symptoms does Mr Johnson have?

The Prime Minister said he was tested after experiencing “mild symptoms” on Thursday, on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty.

In a video on his Twitter account, Mr Johnson, 55, said he had developed a temperature and a persistent cough.


– Where is Mr Johnson self-isolating?

Mr Johnson will be self-isolating in his flat above Number 11 Downing Street, according to his official spokesman, in line with official advice for those who test positive for Covid-19.

“So, I am working from home, I’m self-isolating and that’s entirely the right thing to do,” Mr Johnson said.

– Will he able able to carry on in his role?

A Downing Street spokesman said that Mr Johnson will still continue to lead the Government’s response on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr Johnson said that “thanks to the wizardry of modern technology” he is able to communicate with his team to “lead the national fightback against coronavirus”.

– Who could take over if Mr Johnson becomes unwell?

On Monday, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab would stand in if Mr Johnson became unwell.

If Mr Raab was also ill, then the Prime Minister has the power to delegate responsibility to any of his ministers, the spokesman added.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab (Aaron Chown/PA Wire)

– Will his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds be required to self-isolate?

It has been suggested that the couple – who are expecting a baby in “early summer” – are not living together at present.

Asked whether Ms Symonds is also living in their flat above Number 11, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister of course follows all of the guidelines which have been issued by Public Health England in full.

“His circumstance is such that he will be required to self-isolate for seven days.”

Official advice from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) says pregnant women fall into the group of vulnerable people urged to avoid contact with those who have symptoms of Covid-19.

Mr Johnson and his Ms Symonds (Yui Mok/PA Wire)
Mr Johnson and his Ms Symonds (Yui Mok/PA Wire)

– Who has the Prime Minister been in contact with recently?

Health Minister Matt Hancock also announced on Friday that he has tested positive for coronavirus and was self-isolating at home.

On Thursday night, Mr Johnson applauded the NHS outside Downing Street – a couple of metres away from Chancellor Rishi Sunak.

A spokesman said Mr Sunak has not had any symptoms, so therefore has not been tested for coronavirus and is not self-isolating.

Mr Johnson has also appeared at Downing Street press conferences with chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty, his deputy Dr Jenny Harries and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and it is currently unclear whether they have been tested.

– When did Mr Johnson last meet with the Queen?

A Buckingham Palace spokesman confirmed the Queen last saw Mr Johnson just over two weeks ago.

He said: “Her Majesty the Queen remains in good health. The Queen last saw the Prime Minister on the March 11 and is following all the appropriate advice with regards to her welfare.”

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