- Title: Government COVID-19 exposure dominates UK newspaper front pages
- Date: 18th July 2021
- Summary: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JULY 18, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FRONT PAGES OF BRITISH NEWSPAPERS (HEADLINES ABOUT GOVERNMENT COVID-19 EXPOSURE)
- Embargoed: 1st August 2021 12:07
- Keywords: Boris Johnson Britain COVID-19 Rishi Sunak Sajid Javid coronavirus newspapers
- Location: INTERNET / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: INTERNET / LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Europe,Health/Medicine
- Reuters ID: LVA002EMD8MDJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: News that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and finance minister Rishi Sunak had been exposed to a person with COVID-19 dominated front pages of newspapers in the UK on Sunday (July 18).
Johnson and 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 U-turn comes a day after health minister Sajid Javid said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and at a time when the government's coronavirus response is under intense scrutiny.
Almost all remaining restrictions in England will be lifted on Monday (July 19) despite a surge in infections as ministers put their faith in the advanced vaccine program.
Cases are rising by more than 50,000 a day and hundreds of thousands of Britons are being asked to self isolate for 10 days, causing havoc for employers and parents, prompting train cancellations and forcing some businesses to close their doors.
The government announced at 0700 GMT that Johnson and Sunak had 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.
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.
Opposition politicians had said it was hypocritical for Johnson and Sunak to exempt themselves from some of the rules.
Sunak acknowledged the backlash over their initial decision.
"I recognise that even the sense that the rules arenâ€™t the same for everyone is wrong," he said on Twitter.
(Production: Natasa Bansagi, Martin Veal)
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