Tory minister sparks Covid panic after returning to work before receiving test result
- Credit: PA
Policing minister Kit Malthouse has sparked chaos in the Home Office after going to work while waiting for the results of a Covid test.
Home Office staff in London were forced to self-isolate and a deep-clean was arranged and air vents changed after Malthouse's test came back positive, the Sunday Times reported.
Government guidance says workers should remain socially distanced after taking a test until they receive the all-clear.
In January, Malthouse said it would be "preposterous that anyone could be ignorant of the rules". It is understood the minister did not have any symptoms at the time of his test but returned to work before waiting for the results.
Dave Penman, general secretary of the FDA union which represents senior civil servants, said ministers are not exempt from the rules.
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He said: "Everyone in a workplace owes a duty of care to their colleagues to ensure it stays Covid-secure.
"Given the significant health risks involved, reckless behaviour must have consequences and ministers cannot be exempt from that.
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"As employees return to the workplace, they need to be able to trust that their employer is being open and transparent about the risks.
"Any failure to disclose an incident will only serve to undermine confidence."
The Home Office said: "The policing minister is self-isolating with his household following a positive Covid test.
"This was a precautionary test as the minister had no symptoms. The minister promptly left the building"
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