Australia’s deputy PM catches Covid on UK visit

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Australia's deputy PM
"Minister for Agriculture Barnaby Joyce v" (CC BY 2.0) by Apple and Pear Australia Ltd

Australia’s deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, believes he has contracted Covid-19 after a trip to the UK on an official visit. The politician has tested positive for the virus after arriving in the US, but thinks the contact occurred earlier this week while he was in London.

Mr Joyce has said he is fully vaccinated and is now in isolation, experiencing mild flu-like symptoms. In the UK, Justice Secretary Dominic Raab and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps are both self-isolating because they had been in contact with Mr Joyce. Both British ministers said they were taking Covid tests.

Mr Joyce has been the only delegate from the Australian government that travelled to the US to test positive so far. He received negative results before leaving the UK but decided to get tested again after arrival as he was experiencing some pain and fatigue in his legs. He told Australian media he had been Christmas shopping in London where “people [were] just lined up, shoulder to shoulder”.

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A famously outspoken politician, Barnaby Joyce is best known globally for once threatening to euthanise Johnny Depp’s dogs over a quarantine row.

Before arriving in the US, he had travelled to London and met with top officials there as part of a 10-day trip to discuss his government’s plans for regulating social media.

Mr Joyce told ABC Radio New England he was “very frustrated I’m going to be locked up in a room by myself for 10 days, but that’s part of the process”.


He told the radio station that part of his job involved travelling and meeting with counterparts.

Mr Joyce said: “I really wanted to follow up on some of this online stuff, try to get better online protection laws and see where the United States are. But that’s the way the cookie crumbles.”


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