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inisters and officials across Whitehall are waiting anxiously to learn if they will have to isolate on so-called “freedom day” after it was confirmed Sajid Javid has Covid-19.

The Health Secretary announced late on Saturday a full PCR test had confirmed the result of an earlier rapid lateral flow test that he has contracted the virus.

He said in a a message posted on his Twitter feed: “My positive result has now been confirmed by PCR test, so I will continue to isolate and work from home.”

The result is the signal for NHS Test and Trace to begin tracking down his recent close contacts and instructing them to quarantine.

It could potentially mean a swathe of ministers and senior officials will be confined to their homes when lockdown restrictions in England finally end on Monday.

Downing Street would not comment on suggestions Boris Johnson could be among them after he was reported to have had a lengthy meeting with Mr Javid in No 10 on Friday.

The timing could hardly have been worse for Government with scientists voicing increasing concern at the idea of ending all statutory legal controls while cases continue to surge.

It raises the prospect that “freedom day” will descend into chaos with ministers reduced to welcoming the changes remotely from their living rooms.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

The Liberal Democrats said that Mr Javid’s positive test underlined the case for Government to rethink its plans.

Health spokeswoman Munira Wilson said: “This shows no-one is safe from this deadly virus.

“By easing all restrictions with cases surging, they are experimenting with people’s lives.

“Right now, they are pursuing a strategy of survival of the fittest, where the young and clinically vulnerable will be left defenceless.”

Mr Johnson has repeatedly said he wants the lifting of lockdown to be “irreversible”, but in recent days ministers have begun to sound more cautious.

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