British business minister tested for Covid-19 after lawmakers return to parliament

Clay Curtis
June 7, 2020

The development comes a day after MPs approved the British government's plan to end virtual voting in the House of Commons.

On Wednesday in the U.K.'s House of Commons, Sharma could be seen addressing the house while constantly rubbing his face with a handkerchief, appearing in some discomfort.

Mr Miliband, who could potentially be contacted by NHS contact tracers and asked to self-isolate if Mr Sharma was to test positive for Covid-19, sent his "best wishes" to the Business Secretary for a quick recovery, adding: "Hope he feels better soon".

A United Kingdom business minister awaiting Covid-19 test results conducted a meeting with Boris Johnson just hours before becoming ill in the House of Commons, meaning the prime minister may have to self-isolate yet again.

Commons leader Mr Rees-Mogg replied: "When I was a child I remember there being a song "I'll be your long-haired lover from Liverpool".

"Just had results in and my test for #COVID-19 was negative", he tweeted.

Under the United Kingdom government's new test-and-trace scheme, anyone who comes into close and sustained contact with somebody who tests positive for the coronavirus must self-isolate for 14 days.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak held a 45-minute meeting on Tuesday with Alok Sharma, the business secretary, who is now self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms.

"The meeting which took place in No. 10 in the Cabinet room was properly socially distanced", the spokesman said".

Measures to allow MPs who can not attend due to age and health issues to participate via Zoom and to vote via proxy were approved on Thursday.

And Commons leader Jacob Rees-Mogg also defended the move, saying: "It is important that while we are here, we follow the social distancing rules".

His Cabinet colleague Grant Shapps said Mr Sharma was "doing fine" working from home while awaiting the result, having spoken to him on Thursday afternoon, and insisted that he had "always been two metres apart" from the PM.

"MPs are travelling home to every part of the country tonight".

However, Johnson's spokesman indicated that the two men might not need to self-isolate because they maintained social distancing during the meeting. "Our risk assessment outlines the measures we have already put in place to reduce the risk of transmission in Parliament".

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