Boris Johnson has left hospital after a week of treatment for Covid-19 and will go to Chequers to continue his recovery.
The prime minister was being treated at St Thomas’ hospital in south London, where he spent three nights in the intensive care unit after his situation had deteriorated.
A No 10 spokesman said: “The PM has been discharged from hospital to continue his recovery, at Chequers.
“On the advice of his medical team, the PM will not be immediately returning to work. He wishes to thank everybody at St Thomas’ for the brilliant care he has received. All of his thoughts are with those affected by this illness.”
Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, will continue to deputise for Johnson in his absence, having taken over when the prime minister went into intensive care on Monday night.
Raab has already announced the UK’s lockdown will continue beyond the initial three-week period set out by Johnson and may have to take further decisions in the coming days about how much longer it should stay in place.
Johnson was taken into hospital last Sunday after his coronavirus symptoms, including a cough and a high temperature, persisted.
He was moved into intensive care on Monday evening. The government said he was not put on a ventilator but had continued to receive “standard oxygen treatment”.
On Thursday, he was moved back to a hospital ward after three nights in intensive care, and was said to be in “extremely good spirits”, according to Downing Street.
Following his admission, colleagues expressed concern that Johnson had still been receiving his red box of government papers at his hospital bed and urged him to rest.
No 10 has insisted it has been transparent throughout Johnson’s illness but several reports have confirmed that the prime minister was more ill than officials were letting on in the days before his admission to hospital.
Johnson is expected to take some time to recuperate, rather than returning swiftly to Downing Street, but is likely to want to be involved in the decision about when and how to end the lockdown.Advertisement
In a statement, Johnson’s fiancee Carrie Symonds said she “cannot thank our magnificent NHS enough” after the primeminister’s return to Chequers following coronavirus treatment, adding: “The staff at St Thomas’ hospital have been incredible. I will never, ever be able to repay you and I will never stop thanking you.”
She added: “There were times last week that were very dark indeed. My heart goes out to all those in similar situations, worried sick about their loved ones.