Boris Johnson 'just beginning' recovery from coronavirus and is not yet back to work

Andrew Woodcock

Boris Johnson is not going straight back to work after leaving intensive care last night, Downing Street has said.

The prime minister’s official spokesman told reporters that Mr Johnson was “just beginning” his recovery and would resume his official duties only on the advice of his doctors.

First Secretary of State Dominic Raab continues to deputise for the PM, said the spokesman, who gave no timetable for Mr Johnson's return.

The spokesman said he was not aware of any direct contact between the PM and his team at No 10 since his release from intensive care, and refused to say whether Mr Johnson would be back in the saddle by 16 April, when a review is planned to decide whether to ease lockdown restrictions.

Mr Johnson was admitted to hospital on Sunday with persistent symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature and cough, before spending three nights in intensive care following a deterioration in his condition on Monday.

He "waved his thanks" to doctors and nurses as he was moved out of intensive care and back onto a general ward at St Thomas' Hospital in central London on Thursday evening, said No 10.