Boris Johnson picked up coronavirus with top team after days ‘cramped in tiny rooms not social distancing’


The Prime Minister is today “responding to treatment” after a second night in intensive care and in a “stable” condition according to No10.

The PM on March 16 before social distancing rules came in
The PM applauds outside Downing Street on April 2 – when he had already caught the virus

He was admitted to the hospital after a week where he attended meetings and PMQs despite the Government’s social distancing rules.

But in the days and weeks leading up to his diagnosis, the PM did not appear to be following his own guidelines on battling the coronavirus.

A witness told The Times today the PM attended a meeting with dozens of other people in a small room before his diagnosis.

They said some in the room were openly coughing, making it “inevitable” that people were going to be ill.

Even before the dramatic nationwide lockdown on March 23, the Government had urged Brits to stay at home if they had a cough, and then to stay two metres apart from others.

Mr Johnson is not the only one to get sick either, with senior officials including the Health Secretary Matt Hancock and then the chief medical officer Chris Whitty also getting the virus.

Mr Johnson had been self-isolating since March 27 when he announced he had contracted the virus.

Just two days earlier the PM had attended PMQs, sitting in close proximity to Mr Hancock, Priti Patel, Michael Gove, with dozens of other MPs also in the chamber and not sitting apart.

Earlier that same week he attending a cabinet meeting in person with the Health Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill and Professor Whitty- despite most people dialling in via video link.

Three of the four attending fell ill that very same week.

Boris Johnson attends PMQs on March 25, two days before his diagonosis
Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty walk down the stairs together on March 12
Most were not staying apart – and Boris, Hancock and Whitty were all in No10 for meetings the week they got sick (seen here on March 19)

At the beginning of March, the PM told the nation the most important thing to do was wash their hands.

But he continued to shake hands with everyone, even bragging to reporters he had shaken hands with coronavirus patients in a hospital.

He shook hands at a flurry of official engagements, as well as at interviews with the likes of Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield.

This included a reception for International Women’s Day in Downing Street with Nadine Dorries, who later became the first minister to get the virus.

He also shook hands with heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua at a Commonwealth celebration at Westminster Abbey on March 9.

Boris Johnson shook hands with Anthony Joshua

Boris Johnson shook hands with Anthony Joshua on March 9
Only in the last week or so have MPs and ministers been seen keeping their correct distance
Dominic Raab maintains the appropriate distance yesterday with the rest of his team

Just one day later he told the nation to avoid shaking hands.

He then banned mass gatherings just six days later.

Photographs of officials going into No10 in the past few weeks have shown ministers openly stood near to each other despite the pandemic.

It is only in the last few days that officials have been snapped the correct two metres apart distance.

Just hours after he reported his symptoms, the PM stood at a distance from the Chancellor Rishi Sunak as the pair applauded for the NHS workers.