The situation raised new questions about the government’s plan to lift restrictions on Monday, even as cases rose to more than 50,000 a day, in large part due to the highly transmissible Delta variant. British media have called July 19 “Freedom Day,” but for thousands of people infected or in contact with an infected person, that phrase will ring hollow.
As part of the health service pilot program, Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak have reportedly continued to work in Downing Street, which has been fitted with facilities to perform daily tests. They were also reportedly still required to self-isolate when not at work. Mr Johnson and his wife, Carrie, live in an apartment on the upper floors of 11 Downing Street, next to his office. This building also houses Mr. Sunak’s office.
News of the testing arrangement drew immediate criticism, with some pointing out that it was just the latest example of senior officials playing by different rules. At 11 a.m. in London, three hours after the initial statement, the two men backed off.
The Prime Minister was in his country residence, Checkers, when he was briefed by the NHS and will now stay there in self-isolation.
Sunday mid-afternoon Mr Johnson posted a video on Twitter in which he said that he and Mr. Sunak had considered participating in the pilot program, but that they had decided that it was “much more important that everyone follow the same rules, and that is why I will m ‘self-isolate until July 26.
Mr Sunak said on Twitter that “although the test and traceability pilot is quite restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognize that even the feeling that the rules are not the same for everyone is false.” “
“To that end,” he wrote, “I will isolate myself as usual and I will not participate in the pilot. “
In his video, the Prime Minister reiterated that the country was moving forward with the opening on Monday, and that it was still “the right time, but we have to do it with caution”.