British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak will both self-isolate in line with national guidance, abandoning heavily criticised plans to take part in a pilot scheme that would have allowed them to continue working.
The government announced at 0700 GMT that Johnson and Sunak has been exposed to a person with COVID-19 and would take part in a trial scheme that allowed them to keep working instead of self-isolating for 10 days.
But less than three hours later that decision had been reversed after a flurry of criticism from voters, political opponents and business owners.
Johnson will isolate at Chequers, his country residence, a spokesman said in a statement.
“He will not be taking part in the testing pilot,” the spokesman said. “He will continue to conduct meetings with ministers remotely.”
In a separate tweet, Sunak acknowledged the backlash over their initial decision, which came a day after health minister Sajid Javid said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
“Whilst the test and trace pilot is fairly restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognise that even the sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong,” he said.
“To that end I’ll be self isolating as normal and not taking part in the pilot.” (Reuters)