Boris’s curious Covid rules approach

Boris's curious Covid rules approach
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It seems that Boris Johnson has adopted something of a curious approach to Covid regulations. No, not the Downing Street parties, but rather his attitude towards self-isolation. For the PM's official spokesman revealed yesterday that one of Johnson's relatives — either his wife Carrie or one of the children he has living at Downing Street — has tested positive for Covid, meaning that he will not be making any appearances until next week. The embattled Tory leader will instead remain in No. 10 as he fights to save his crumbling premiership, conducting mainly virtual meetings until next Wednesday. His spokesperson told lobby hacks that:

In line with the guidance, he’s reducing contacts, he’ll be working from No. 10, doing the daily tests, and limiting contact with others both outside No. 10 and indeed inside No. 10 as well.

But is that really the official guidance? For, as the government's own website says, 'if you live with or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply: you're fully vaccinated.' Johnson is, of course, double-jabbed and has also received his booster last month. 

Obviously, he shouldn't go and mix with those seriously at risk e.g. popping into a care home of nonagenarians but otherwise government guidelines — the same ones drawn up by his colleague Sajid Javid — allow him to go about his normal business. Conveniently, his self-isolation means he avoids further public interviews and awkward questions about suitcases of booze and Downing Street DJs.

Johnson's safety-first stance is all the more jarring when one remembers his efforts to avoid self-isolation back in July. Both he and Rishi Sunak were forced to U-turn on their efforts to avoid a 10-day quarantine by joining a pilot testing scheme after a wave of fury after they were 'pinged' by NHS Test and Trace.

Whatever could have forced such a change of heart for our beleaguered PM?

    Written bySteerpike

    Steerpike is The Spectator's gossip columnist, serving up the latest tittle tattle from Westminster and beyond. Email tips to or message @MrSteerpike

    Topics in this articlePoliticsboris johnsoncovid