Timeline: The coronavirus lockdown and Dominic Cummings’ trip to Durham

Boris Johnson’s controversial aide Dominic Cummings is back in the headlines – this time for travelling more than 260 miles to Durham during the lockdown.

Mr Cummings says he made the journey for childcare purposes. Here is the timeline of events around his trip.

-March 23: As the coronavirus crisis escalates, the UK is placed into lockdown with strict limitations on travel.

The Government guidelines state: “You should not be visiting family members who do not live in your home.”

A letter from Prime Minster Boris Johnson to UK residents urging them to stay at home
A letter from Prime Minster Boris Johnson to UK residents urging them to stay at home (Scott Wilson/PA)

-March 27: Both Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock test positive for coronavirus, while chief medical officer Chris Whitty says he has symptoms of the disease and is self-isolating.

-March 30: Downing Street confirms Mr Cummings is suffering from coronavirus symptoms and is self-isolating.

Dominic Cummings
Downing Street confirmed Mr Cummings had coronavirus symptoms on March 30 (David Mirzoeff/PA)

March 31: Durham police are “made aware of reports that an individual had travelled from London to Durham and was present at an address in the city”.

The force said officers “made contact with the owners of that address who confirmed that the individual in question was present and was self-isolating in part of the house.

“In line with national policing guidance, officers explained to the family the arrangements around self-isolation guidelines and reiterated the appropriate advice around essential travel.”

-April 5: An unnamed neighbour tells the Mirror and the Guardian Mr Cummings was seen in his parents’ garden .

“I got the shock of my life as I looked over to the gates and saw him,” they said.

-March 30 – April 6:  The period Mr Cummings’ wife Mary Wakefield describes the family’s battle with coronavirus in the April 25 issue of the Spectator.

She makes no mention of the trip to Durham and describes the challenges of caring for their son while suffering the symptoms of Covid-19.

“This might be my only really useful advice for other double-Covid parents or single mothers with pre-schoolers: get out the doctor’s kit and make it your child’s job to take your temperature.

“Any game that involves lying down is a good game.”

-April 14: Mr Cummings returns to work for the first time since news he was suffering from Coronavirus emerged.

Dominic Cummings with his assistant Cleo Watson
Dominic Cummings with his assistant Cleo Watson (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Questions are raised about his adherence to social distancing advice as he is photographed walking down Downing Street with fellow aide Cleo Watson.

-May 22: News breaks in the Mirror and the Guardian of Mr Cummings’ trip to Durham.

Guardian front page, Saturday 23 May 2020: Police spoke to Cummings about lockdown breach pic.twitter.com/zj3VGq4YXP

— The Guardian (@guardian) May 22, 2020

-May 23: Downing Street appears to be standing by the PM’s chief aide, saying in a statement: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.”

The statement said: “At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported.

“His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines. Mr Cummings believes he behaved reasonably and legally.”

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