Policing minister denies breaking COVID rules after going into work while waiting for positive test result

Ellen Manning
·2-min read
Housing Minister Kit Malthouse speaking in a panel on the third day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Tuesday October 1, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
Kit Malthouse has been accused of breaching COVID rules by going into work without waiting for the result of a COVID test. (PA)

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse is self-isolating after being accused of breaching COVID rules by going into work without waiting for results of a test that turned out to be positive.

Malthouse revealed on Saturday that he was self-isolating with his family after testing positive for coronavirus in a lateral flow test.

The Sunday Times reported that he had gone into the Home Office without waiting for results of the precautionary test, which meant staff from his team also now have to self-isolate.

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Writing on Twitter on Saturday, Malthouse said: "Occasionally need to be in Westminster, so took care with several precautionary covid tests.

"On Monday morning, no symptoms, but tested positive. Fortunately no in person meetings had taken place.

Read more: Tory MPs warn Johnson not to extend COVID curbs

"Departed promptly by own car, brilliant team sent home as precaution, Whip and Home Sec office informed. Juliana downs tools, retrieves kids from school, all into isolation until Friday.

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"Team all OK and not pinged. Feeling lucky to still be symptom free with 5 days to go.’

But the minister has been accused of breaching COVID rules, which say workers should stay socially distanced at work until they receive the all-clear, according to the Sunday Times.

The newspaper said sources had claimed that staff from two teams are understood to have gone into self-isolation, while his office had to be deep cleaned and the air vents changed.

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Malthouse later tweeted that he was "disappointed" by the story and had held a virtual meeting alone in his office after the test "in line with guidelines".

He said the Permanent Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Whip had all been informed.

In January, Malthouse said it would be "preposterous" for anyone to claim they were ignorant of lockdown rules after nearly a year.

His alleged breach of coronavirus restrictions comes after public outcry after it emerged that SNP member Margaret Ferrier had travelling from Scotland to London and back while waiting for a COVID test result.

Watch: What you can and can't do during England's third national lockdown