Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he will be self isolating
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Both the House of Commons and House of Lords take several breaks throughout the year, much like the school holidays. This means MPs soon have several weeks away from Westminster, with their annual summer recess imminent. However, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak will be spending the first few days of their summer breaks in isolation after coming into contact with Sajid Javid, who tested positive for coronavirus.
Parliament’s recesses take place throughout the year, with breaks for summer, Christmas, Whitsun and weeks off in November, and September.
Formally known as periodic adjournment, the summer break is the first since Whitsun in May.
The next will be in November for parties to hold their conferences and typically takes place from mid-September to early October.
So when exactly does Parliament break for the summer this year?
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Summer recess will begin this week, with the House of Commons due to rise on Thursday, July 22.
The House will then return more than six weeks later on Monday, September 6.
These dates are the same for the House of Lords.
As with most summer breaks, senior Government figures will be looking to take holidays – with many pledging to take ‘staycations’ due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak will begin their summer break in isolation, after coming into contact with a positive COVID-19 case.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid has tested positive for the virus and had been with Mr Johnson and Mr Sunak.
As per Track and Trace guidelines, the PM and Health Secretary now must isolate for 10 days, despite previously saying they wouldn’t.
With thousands of Brits being pinged by the app to isolate as England opens up, Mr Johnson and Mr Javid announced they would take part in a pilot scheme which would mean they didn’t have to stay at home – something which was met with intense scrutiny and anger.
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Opposition parties said the two top figures not having to isolate meant there was “one rule for them and another for the rest of us”.
Announcing a U-turn in a video on Twitter Mr Johnson said: “We did look briefly at the idea of us taking part in the pilot scheme, which allows people to test daily, but I think it’s far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules and that’s why I’m going to be self-isolating until Monday, July 26.
“I know how frustrating it all is, but I really do urge everybody to stick with the programme and take the appropriate course of action when you’re asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace.”
A statement from Downing Street later confirmed Mr Johnson would be isolating at his country house Chequers.
A Number 10 spokesman said: “The prime minister has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace to say he is a contact of someone with COVID.
“He was at Chequers when contacted by Test and Trace and will remain there to isolate. He will not be taking part in the testing pilot.”
And Mr Sunak also backtracked on his participation in the pilot study and will spend the first few days of his summer break in isolation.
Mr Sunak tweeted: “Whilst the test and trace pilot is fairly restrictive, allowing only essential government business, I recognise that even the sense that the rules aren’t the same for everyone is wrong.
“To that end I’ll be self isolating as normal and not taking part in the pilot.”
Parliament breaks this year
- House rises – July 22, 2021
- House sits – September 6, 2021
- House rises – September 23, 2021
- House sits – October 18, 2021
- House rises – November 9, 2021
- House sits – November 15, 2021
- House rises – December 16, 2021
- House sits – January 4, 2021
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