UK PM, finance minister exposed to COVID, confined to office work

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks back to Downing Street after attending a press conference in London, Britain, on July 12, 2021. The British government confirmed Monday that most COVID-19 restrictions in England will end next week despite surging cases caused by the Delta variant first identified in India. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walks back to Downing Street after attending a press conference in London, Britain, on July 12, 2021. The British government confirmed Monday that most COVID-19 restrictions in England will end next week despite surging cases caused by the Delta variant first identified in India. (Photo by Ray Tang/Xinhua)

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson will undertake “only essential government business” in the week ahead after the state health service designated him a close contact of a person infected with COVID, Downing Street said Sunday.

Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak were both designated but are taking part in a government pilot scheme that enables them to continue working, a spokesperson said after Health Secretary Sajid Javid confirmed on Saturday he had tested positive for Covid-19.

Participating individuals must take daily tests and self-isolate when not at work, according to the pilot’s rules.

The development comes just as Johnson’s government prepares to jettison most pandemic restrictions in England on Monday.

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