Matt Hancock announces on Twitter he is self-isolating after receiving alert on NHS COVID app

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Ross McGuinness
·2 min read
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Watch: Matt Hancock self-isolating again after NHS app alert

Matt Hancock is self-isolating after coming into close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus.

The health secretary announced on Twitter that he was alerted by the NHS COVID-19 app on Monday evening, having led a Downing Street press conference.

In a video posted on Tuesday, he said: “Last night I was pinged by the NHS coronavirus app, so that means I’ll be self-isolating at home, not leaving the house at all until Sunday.

Health secretary Matt Hancock announced on Twitter that he is self-isolating. (Matt Hancock/Twitter)
Health secretary Matt Hancock announced on Twitter that he is self-isolating. (Matt Hancock/Twitter)

“This self-isolation is perhaps the most important part of all the social distancing because I know from the app I’ve been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive and this is how we break the chains of transmission.

“So you must follow these rules like I’m going to. I’ve got to work from home for the next six days, and together, by doing this, by following this, and all the other panoply of rules that we’ve had to put in place, we can get through this and beat this virus.”

Hancock must quarantine despite having tested positive for COVID-19 in March, when he announced his diagnosis shortly after prime minister Boris Johnson revealed his own.

It is understood that Hancock was given the duration of his isolation period by the NHS app.

The health service’s website says the isolation period includes the day the individual was last in contact with the person who tested positive and the next 10 full days.

It was not clear from his statement whether the quarantine period ends on Sunday or Monday, but the timescale suggests Hancock’s contact with the individual was on Wednesday or Thursday.

He also did not make clear what time he received the order to self-isolate on Monday.

That evening he appeared at the No 10 press conference alongside NHS England medical director Professor Stephen Powis and Public Health England’s Susan Hopkins.

Watch: All you need from Matt Hancock’s COVID-19 briefing