LONDON — The British prime minister’s father, Stanley Johnson, has apologized for breaking coronavirus rules by going shopping without wearing a face covering, admitting that he was not fully caught up on the latest measures introduced by his son because he had been out of the country for several weeks.
The breach comes as England is reeling over the reimposition of restrictions on movement, local lockdowns and social gatherings amid a rising number of cases. Even the prime minister himself at one point expressed confusion about the current guidelines.
Speaking to the British tabloid the Mirror, the elder Johnson said he was “extremely sorry” for what he called a “slip-up” and urged Britons to adhere to government regulations to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
Johnson was photographed maskless earlier this week in a West London shop — although it has been mandatory for people in England to wear face coverings on public transport and in shops since late July.
The prime minister recently outlined stricter penalties for those found to be flouting guidelines in England, with first time offenders facing fines of 200 pounds ($255) for failing to wear a face covering and up to $12,000 if they fail to self-isolate when instructed to.
Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also issued an apology this week after breaching the government’s “rule of six” and attending a dinner party with eight other people. A photograph of the gathering on Saturday was published by the Sun tabloid.
“I recently had dinner at a friend’s house where the number of guests eventually exceeded five. I understand that remaining at the dinner was a breach of the rule of six. I apologize for my mistake,” Corbyn told the tabloid.