Then on Sunday, both Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Finance Minister Rishi Sunak said they’d been alerted by the National Health Service that since they had been in close contact with an infected individual — i.e., Javid — they must immediately quarantine at home.
The quarantine of the top leadership in a British government struggling to manage the pandemic comes less than 24 hours before Johnson plans to end almost all government mandates in England for mask-wearing and social distancing. On Monday, dubbed “Freedom Day” by the press, it will be a “personal choice” whether to mask or distance in most settings. A number of health experts have condemned the opening as a reckless experiment. Others say it is about time — and prudent given the lower numbers of hospitalizations and deaths.