Boris Johnson remains unwell with a high temperature seven days after he began self-isolating after testing positive for coronavirus.
The Prime Minister recorded a video message from his flat in Downing Street asking the public to continue to stay at home – despite a forecast of sunshine and warmer weather this weekend.
Mr Johnson, who tested positive for the virus a week ago, is still battling the disease.
In a video posted on his Twitter account, he explained: “Although I’m feeling better and I’ve done my seven days of isolation, alas I still have one of the symptoms, a minor symptom, I have a temperature. So in accordance with government advice I must continue my self-isolation until that symptom itself goes.”
But he also had an important message to the public ahead of the weekend when the temperature is expected to hit 20C.
Mr Johnson said: “I want to say one crucial thing, one quick thing to everybody thinking about this weekend and what may be some fine weather.
“Because I reckon a lot of people will be starting to think this is all going on for quite a long time and they’d rather be getting out there and particularly if they’ve got kids in the household everybody may be getting a bit stir crazy.
“And there may be just a temptation to get out there, hang out and start to break the regulations.
“I just urge you not to do that.
“Please, please, stick with the guidance now.
“This country has made a huge effort, a huge sacrifice, done absolutely brilliantly will in delaying the spread of the virus.
“Let’s stick with it now.”
Last night Mr Johnson was seen stood outside Number 10 applauding the NHS but many remarked that he seemed thinner than normal after his battle with coronavirus.
Unlike the Health Secretary Matt Hancock – who returned to work yesterday – the PM remains unwell.
This week he has been chairing cabinet and other meetings over zoom rather than in person.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “He remains self isolation.
“He does continue to have mild symptoms, in particular a temperature.
“The guidance is clear – that if you still have a high temperature, you should keep self isolating until it returns to normal.”
The PM’s spokesman was unable to say if he has been checked by a doctor or how high his temperature is.
He insisted Mr Johnson was following guidance “to the letter”.
According to No10, the guidance says “you should stay at home for seven days but that you should stay at home for longer if a high temperature persists.”
The spokesman batted aside questions about whether the Prime Minister should still be working from his flat.
He said: “Symptoms have been mild throughout but it’s important that we follow the guidelines very strictly. He has every day chaired the coronavirus war cabinet. As I say it’s a case of us following the guidance.”
Asked for any message for people considering going outside this weekend, the PM’s official spokesman said: “Don’t do it.”
The spokesman said: “We need to be absolutely straight with people. They must not do that. if they do ignore the guidelines they will be putting lives at risk.”
Asked if the lockdown could be heightened, he said police have already been given enforcement powers.
He added: “We have said that if at any stage the scientific advice is we need to go further, we won’t hesitate to do so. We’ve taken the steps we believe are required and necessary for now.”
Downing Street accepted “we’ve asked people to make significant sacrifices”, but said staying inside prevents you infecting others and others infecting you.
“By doing so we are protecting the NHS and what we are doing therefore is saving lives,” the spokesman said.
“If you go outside and ignore that advice and the guidelines we’ve issued, you are putting lives at risk.”
The spokesman denied seeing any discussions on whether people could have to produce paperwork to go outside.