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British PM in self-isolation; has no COVID-19 symptoms

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts during a virtual press conference at Downing Street in London, Wednesday Sept. 9, 2020, following the announcement that the legal limit on social gatherings is set to be reduced from 30 people to six. The change to the "rule of six" with legal status in England, will come into force on upcoming Monday as the Government seeks to curb a recent and ongoing rise in coronavirus cases. (Stefan Rousseau/Pool via AP)

LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is self-isolating after being told he came into contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said Sunday.

“He will carry on working from Downing Street, including on leading the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic,” a statement from his office said.

Johnson “is well and does not have any symptoms of COVID-19,” it added.

Johnson met with a small group of lawmakers for about a half-hour on Thursday, including one who subsequently developed coronavirus symptoms and tested positive.

He was notified by the National Health Service’s Test and Trace system Sunday and told he should self-isolate because of factors including the length of the meeting.

Officials said they will discuss with parliamentary authorities how Johnson can take part remotely in Parliament’s business. He plans to “continue speaking to the country during his self-isolation period,” they added.

The statement didn’t say how long Johnson planned to isolate, but U.K. health authorities’ guidance is that anyone contacted by Test and Trace should quarantine for 14 days.

In April, Johnson was hospitalized in intensive care for three nights after contracting COVID-19. After he was discharged, he thanks health workers for saving his life and said for 48 hours during his hospital stay “things could have gone either way.”

His partner Carrie Symonds, who was pregnant at the time, also experienced symptoms and had to self-isolate.

The prime minister later said he wanted to build up his fitness, and in the summer he launched a national campaign to tackle obesity after acknowledging that he was “too fat” when he fell ill.