Boris Johnson announcement: When will PM speak next as Freedom Day speech scrapped?
Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will be self isolating
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Boris Johnson is now self-isolating at his country residence, Chequers. As most of the remaining lockdown measures are expected to ease in England from Monday, July 19, Mr Johnson will be self-isolating on what many have dubbed “Freedom Day”.
Why is Boris Johnson self-isolating?
Health Secretary Sajid Javid tested positive for COVID-19 on Saturday morning, and as a result, he is now self-isolating.
Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were subsequently contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate following a meeting they had with Mr Javid.
On Sunday morning, it was announced Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak would be taking part in a daily contact testing scheme which is being piloted at the Cabinet Office and several other public and private sector organisations.
A Number 10 spokesperson said: “The Prime Minister and Chancellor have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace as contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid.
“They will be participating in the daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street.
“They will be conducting only essential government business during this period”
However, the news that Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak could skip self-isolation was met with significant criticism, as swathes of people are still required to self-isolate when “pinged” by the tracing service.
Subsequently, it was announced Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak would both be self-isolating.
In a video statement posted on his Twitter feed, Mr Johnson said they had “briefly” looked at joining the daily contact testing scheme, but he said it was “far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules”.
He added: “I know how frustrating it all is but I really do urge everybody to stick with the programme and take the appropriate course action when you are asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.”
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have been busted yet again for thinking the rules that we are all following don’t apply to them.
“The way the Prime Minister conducts himself creates chaos, makes for bad government and has deadly consequences for the British public.”
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When will the Prime Minister speak next?
Boris Johnson had reportedly planned to give a speech on Monday to mark the end of most of the remaining lockdown restrictions in England.
However, the Mail on Sunday reported Mr Johnson’s planned speech was cancelled as Covid cases remain high in the UK.
On Friday and Saturday, Covid cases in the UK exceeded 50,000 for the first time since January 2021.
On Sunday, the UK reported a further 48,161 Covid cases.
A Government source told the publication: “The plan had been for Boris to effectively declare victory over the virus by summoning the spirit of Churchill, with appropriately stirring rhetoric. That no longer feels appropriate”
Now Mr Johnson is self-isolating at Chequers, it is not clear exactly when he will next address the nation at a Downing Street press briefing.
However, Mr Johnson did state he will be self-isolating until July 26, so the next announcement from the Prime Minister could fall after this date.
Another minister could fill in for Mr Johnson at a Downing Street press briefing while Mr Johnson, Mr Sunak and Mr Javid are self-isolating.
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