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Coronavirus: Labour's Kate Osborne becomes second MP to test positive

'I will continue to self-isolate until I have fought off the illness,' Labour MP says

Ashley Cowburn
Political Correspondent
Monday 16 March 2020 09:37 GMT
Health minister Nadine Dorries is first MP to be diagnosed with coronavirus

Labour politician Kate Osborne has become the second MP to test positive for coronavirus, as the House of Commons begins restricting access to the estate for visitors amid the outbreak.

On Monday, Ms Osborne, who was elected to parliament for Jarrow at the 2019 election, said on social media she had been diagnosed with covid-19 following a period of self-isolation and subsequent testing.

“I will continue to self-isolate until I have fought off the illness,” she said. “But in the mean time I would encourage everyone to band together and support the most vulnerable in our communities.”

Ms Osborne also urged those with a high temperature, or a new, continuous cough – two symptoms of the virus – to follow government advice and self-isolate for seven days.

Her diagnosis comes after the health minister Nadine Dorries became the first MP to test positive for coronavirus last week, leading to several MPs entering self-isolation after coming into contact with her.

Cabinet minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said on Friday that she had tested negative for the virus, but will stay at home for seven days as a precaution on the advice of her doctor.

On Monday, the House of Commons authorities started restricting visitor access to estate in an effort to keep parliament functioning as the number of cases of coronavirus continues to rise across the UK.

Commercial tours are being cancelled, MPs, peers and other passholders will be discouraged from bringing guests into the estate for social visits and mass lobbies by campaign groups will be banned. Members of the public, however, will still be able to watch debates and attend select committee hearings.

MPs, peers, parliamentary staff and other members of the "parliamentary community" will continue to be able to work on the estate where necessary.

In a joint statement, Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle and Lord Speaker Lord Fowler said: "We are resolved that parliament should, insofar as possible, continue to fulfil its important constitutional duties of passing legislation, holding government to account and, crucially, representing the views of the people of the United Kingdom and making their voice heard.

"In order to preserve the operation of parliament, it is our duty to take proportionate and reasonable measures to reduce the risk to those who work on the parliamentary estate and those who have to visit.

"We are clear that now is the time to be pragmatic; everyone in the country is being asked to strike a balance and it is right that we do the same.

"It is in this spirit that we have decided to implement a number of restrictions relating to overseas travel and visitor access."

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