This is how long Boris Johnson was off ill with coronavirus - and what he announced on his return

Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 12:54 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th April 2020, 12:54 pm
The Prime Minister resumed work on Monday (27 Apr) (Photo: Getty Images)
The Prime Minister resumed work on Monday (27 Apr) (Photo: Getty Images)

Boris Johnson has made his return to Downing Street after spending the past two weeks at the Chequers estate recovering from coronavirus.

The Prime Minister resumed work on Monday (27 Apr), chairing the government’s morning meeting of the coronavirus “war cabinet”.

How long was the Prime Minister off for?

Mr Johnson tested positive for coronavirus on 27 March, after noticing mild symptoms the previous afternoon.

After receiving the results, he began self-isolating and working from home.

However, just over a week later on 5 April, Mr Johnson was admitted to St Thomas’ Hospital in central London for further tests as a “precautionary step”, after his coronavirus symptoms persisted.

On the following day (6 Apr), Downing Street announced his condition had worsened and that on the advice of his medical team, he had been moved to the intensive care unit.

Mr Johnson spent three nights in intensive care, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab standing in to deputise in his absence.

Mr Raab vowed to follow the “direction” set by the Prime Minister for tackling the virus.

In a statement recorded after Mr Johnson’s admission, Mr Raab said, “The Government’s business will continue.

“The Prime Minister is in safe hands with that brilliant team at St Thomas’ Hospital, and the focus of the government will continue to be on making sure that the Prime Minister’s direction, all the plans for making sure that we can defeat coronavirus and can pull the country through this challenge, will be taken forward.”

The Prime Minister was discharged from hospital on 12 April, just over two weeks after he was diagnosed.

What happened after he was discharged from hospital?

Mr Johnson continued his recovery at Chequers, his country residence in the Chiltern Hills, after testing negative for coronavirus.

The estate is located close to the village of Ellesborough in Buckinghamshire, around 40 miles north west of central London.

He was reunited with his pregnant fiancee Carrie Symonds, who spent time with him at the 16th century Buckinghamshire mansion, following his seven-night spell in hospital, during which he said “things could have gone either way”.

Speaking out after leaving hospital, Mr Johnson thanked the NHS staff for the “brilliant care” he received.

When did Boris Johnson return to work?

The Prime Minister chaired the Downing Street “war cabinet” on Monday (27 Apr), stating there are signs the UK is now “passing through the peak”.

However, he insisted social distancing measures still need to remain in place as relaxing restrictions too quickly could risk a second peak.

He said: "I want to get this economy moving as fast as I can" but "I refuse to throw away all the effort and the sacrifice of the British people and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life."

Mr Johnson said the government first needs to be satisfied of five key things before lockdown could be eased, but insisted progress is being made.

He continued: "It is still true that this is the biggest single challenge this country has faced since the war and I in no way minimise the continuing problems we face.

"And yet it is also true that we are making progress with fewer hospital admissions, fewer Covid patients in ICU and real signs now that we are passing through the peak.

"And thanks to your forbearance, your good sense your altruism, your spirit of community, thanks to our collective national resolve, we are on the brink of achieving that first clear mission to prevent our National Health Service from being overwhelmed in a way that tragically we have seen elsewhere.

"And that is how and why we are now beginning to turn the tide."

#HealthHeroes

Show your support for the incredible work being done by those working on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis. Join our Facebook group and follow the dedicated Instagram page to read stories of everyday heroism and share your own messages.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this website, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards in the world. But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news and information by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you, and stay safe.