Boris Johnson has acknowledged the frustration of people self-isolating due to coronavirus but urged them to continue social distancing from those they live with.
The Prime Minister posted a video update online from Downing Street, where he himself continues to isolate, and joked that he had finally been “put under house arrest”.
Mr Johnson has been self-isolating for six days after he came into contact with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who later tested positive for the virus.
In the video, he said he wanted to “reach out” to others in isolation and thanked them for their “incredibly important” actions.
He said: “NHS Test and Trace, which is getting ever better, has achieved what so many of my political foes have wanted to achieve for many years, put me under house arrest.
“I know how frustrating it can be, so I just wanted to say to everybody else who is in my shoes, don’t forget that, of course, the isolation doesn’t necessarily apply to the people you share your home with, your partner can still go out shopping or whatever.
“Your housemates can still go out to exercise but you have got to make sure that you continue to observe social distancing from them.
“Your kids can obviously continue to go to school but you’ve got to make sure you observe social distancing from them and follow the basics, hands, face, space.”
Downing Street said that although the Prime Minister had tested negative for the virus he would follow the rules of self-isolation.
He has been able to continue working from an office in No 10 that can be reached from his flat in No 11 without coming into contact with Downing Street staff.
Mr Johnson said that self-isolating was still needed to reduce the reproduction number – the R value – of coronavirus and reminded people to look after their mental health when doing so.
“Bear in mind what you are doing is incredibly important because that is how we are going to break the chain of transmission, stop the disease, get the R down as I believe we are doing at the moment and get it under control,” he said.
“Thank you very much, everybody, for what you are doing and if you do find it a strain and you do feel under mental pressure because of what’s going on, then get onto the web and look at Every Mind Matters.”