UK prime minister accused of being a "super spreader" of confusion over self-isolation rules
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of being a “super spreader” of confusion over self-isolation rules, by the leader of opposition Labour party Keir Starmer, after contradictory statements were issued by the government earlier this week on the matter.
Johnson joined virtually – with the speaker of the House of Commons at one point struggling to hear him – as he is self-isolating at his country residence in Chequers, England, after being a close contact of the Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday.
“Even after 15 months of these exchanges I can’t believe that the Prime Minister doesn't see the irony of him spending 'Freedom Day' locked in isolation, and announcing plans for a vaccines ID card,” Starmer said. He highlighted the recent confusion and changes of policy over isolation exemptions and Covid vaccine passports, two days after all lockdown restrictions were lifted in England despite daily cases being around 50,000.
“When it comes to creating confusion. The Prime Minister is a super spreader,” Starmer added.
Johnson accused Starmer of trying to "score cheap political points" and defended the isolation system.
Johnson said Monday that a number of critical workers would be exempt from the requirement to self-isolate when notified by the NHS Covid-19 ‘Track and Trace’ app.
Downing Street reiterated on Tuesday that people should isolate if they are notified or ‘pinged’ by a Covid app used by the National Health Service to trace possible contacts of those who test positive for Covid-19. The confirmation came after UK business minister Paul Scully suggested that it was down to individuals and employers to follow the instructions, or to ignore them.