LONDON — Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus and is suffering mild symptoms, the British government said on Friday, becoming the first leader of a major Western country known to have contracted the virus.
“After experiencing mild symptoms yesterday, the prime minister was tested for coronavirus on the personal advice of England’s chief medical officer, Prof. Chris Whitty,” the government said in a statement.
“The test was carried out in No. 10 by N.H.S. staff and the result of the test was positive,” the statement said, referring to the National Health Service. “In keeping with the guidance, the prime minister is self-isolating in Downing Street.”
The government said that Mr. Johnson would continue to lead the country’s response to the pandemic.
Mr. Johnson did not appear at a daily news conference on Thursday, at which the chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, introduced the latest plan to protect workers who have lost wages because of the lockdown in the country.
The announcement about Mr. Johnson came two days after it was announced that Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, had contracted the coronavirus.