Boris Johnson says he hopes to see his mum on Mother’s Day despite official advice saying over-70s should avoid social contact

Aides stress prime minister will see 77-year-old mother by Skype

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Friday 20 March 2020 20:23
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Boris Johnson says he will see his mother for Mother's Day

Boris Johnson gaffed by telling a huge television audience that he was hoping to see his mum on Mothers Day this weekend, despite official advice that over-70s should steer clear of social contact to avoid the risk of coronavirus.

Millions of adults will be wondering whether they should visit their elderly mothers on Sunday at the risk of passing on a disease which is known to be much more dangerous to older people.

Aides hurriedly assured reporters that the prime minister meant he would be seeing mother Charlotte via the internet-based video-call service Skype.

Although there is no ban on visits to over-70s or other people in vulnerable groups, such as those with certain medical conditions, the scientific advice is that they should be even more rigorous than others in avoiding social contacts which might expose them to Covid-19.

Asked during a Downing Street press conference whether he was planning to visit his 77-year-old mother on Sunday, Mr Johnson said: “My advice would be that people should really think very carefully - irrespective of whether they are going to visit their mothers - about any elderly person who may be in a vulnerable group.

"It doesn’t really matter if they are over 70, the issue is whether they are in one of the vulnerable groups.

“Think very carefully about the risk of transmission of the virus and follow the advice. Our advice is that elderly people, people with serious underlying health conditions and people in the later stages of pregnancy, you have to be careful about transmission of the virus. I’m sure people will handle that advice accordingly.”

But after having repeated the official advice, the PM surprised many by adding: “I’m in regular contact with all members of my family but I’ll be working very hard on Sunday, I can tell you that.

“I will certainly be sending her my very best wishes and hope to get to see her.”

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