Health secretary should have stayed away longer, argues new Labour deputy leader

Angela Rayner speaks to Sophy Ridge on Sky News about coronavirus. Photograph: Sky.

Angela Rayner speaks to Sophy Ridge on Sky News about coronavirus. Photograph: Sky. - Credit: Archant

Health secretary Matt Hancock should have stayed home longer than seven days after contracting coronavirus, Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner has claimed.

Rayner, who herself has been self-isolating with coronavirus symptoms, said she was in bed for six days and her symptoms were 'very debilitating'.

The government's guidelines state that if you have symptoms of coronavirus, you need to self-isolate at home for seven days or for as long as you still have a high temperature, and anyone you live with should stay in for 14 days even if they do not have any symptoms.

The World Health Organisation states you should 'follow the directions of your local health authority' on self-isolation.

Speaking to Sky News' Sophy Ridge On Sunday, Rayner said: 'I'm disappointed that Matt Hancock, after seven days of having the virus, went out when the World Health Organisation has said you should self-isolate for 14 days.

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'I think it's right that we do that because I cannot stress enough the severity of the symptoms that I have suffered, as you can tell from how breathless I am still now, and I'm day nine, day 10.

'I think the government really need to give that clarity and continue to support people doing the right thing.'

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Hancock announced on Friday March 27 he had tested positive for Covid-19, and he came out of isolation the following Thursday to present the daily Downing Street press conference.

He is assumed to have self-isolated for 24 hours before he made his positive diagnosis public.

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