November 28, 2020

Dido Harding told to self-isolate by her own app: ‘Nothing like personal experience of your own products’ – The Independent

The head of the government’s coronavirus test and trace system is self-isolating after receiving an alert from her own service.

Baroness Harding, a Conservative peer, posted an image of the “you need to self-isolate” app notification, and wrote: “Nothing like personal experience of your own products – got this overnight. Feeling well. Many hours of Zoom ahead.”

Last week her husband the Tory MP John Penrose was also told to quarantine after coming into contact with an infected person.

And at a press conference on Wednesday, NHS national medical director Professor Stephen Powis said he was self-isolating after a member of his household had tested positive.

He told a Downing Street briefing: “I am on Zoom today, I can’t join you in Downing Street and that’s because a member of my household recently tested positive for covid and on the instructions from Test and Trace I am self-isolating.

“I should say I am completely asymptomatic and perfectly fine but I will be staying at home until I have completed my period of isolation.”

Under government guidelines, individuals who are ordered to self-isolate by the app must do so for 14 days from the last time they met their contact.

The screenshot posted by Baroness Harding said she had nine days remaining in her period of self-isolation, suggesting she was in close proximity to a person who had potentially contracted the virus five days ago.

It comes after No 10 revealed Boris Johnson was quarantining after coming into close contact with Ashfield MP Lee Anderson, who developed symptoms last week and tested positive for the virus at the weekend.

In a video message the prime minister, who was hospitalised with Covid-19 during the first wave of the pandemic, insisted he was “as fit as a butcher’s dog” but had been told to self-isolate until 26 November after being “pinged” by the test ad trace system.

Since the breakfast meeting last week, five more MPs – Lia Nici, Brendan Clarke-Smith, Andy Carter, Katherine Fletcher and Chris Clarkson – are also understood to have gone into 14 days of self-isolation.

Mr Johnson will, however, participate in prime minister’s questions later today via video link from Downing Street.