Testing tsar Dido Harding is self-isolating

‘Many hours of Zoom ahead’: Testing tsar Dido Harding reveals she is self-isolating after getting ‘pinged’ by her own contact tracing app

  • Baroness Harding revealed on Twitter that she has been told to self-isolate
  • The Test & Trace chief said she had ‘many hours of Zoom ahead’  

Testing tsar Baroness Harding today revealed that she has been ordered to self-isolate by her own coronavirus contact tracing app.

The peer posted an image of the notification saying ‘you need to self-isolate’, saying she was ‘feeling well’ but remarking ruefully that she had ‘many hours Zoom ahead’.

Lady Harding’s husband, Tory MP John Penrose, has previously been told to self-isolate after potentially coming into contact with someone who was infected. 

The notification shows that Lady Harding is due to end her quarantine on November 26, the same day as Boris Johnson should be allowed to leave his Downing Street lockdown.

However, it is not clear whether the two cases are linked. 

Mr Johnson went into isolation at his No11 flat after a mask-free meeting last Thursday with Tory MP Lee Anderson, who later tested positive. A series of other Tories are also in quarantine due to the gathering.  

Ms Harding was pictured going into Downing Street on Friday. 

Lady Harding posted an image of the app ‘ping’ this morning, and wrote: ‘Nothing like personal experience of your own products …. got this overnight. Feeling well. Many hours of Zoom ahead.’

Baroness Harding, who heads the NHS Test and Trace service, is self-isolating after receiving an alert from her service

Lady Harding’s husband, Tory MP John Penrose, has previously been told to self-isolate by the Test and Trace app after potentially coming into contact with someone who has coronavirus

Mr Penrose was ordered to self-isolate by the app last week. 

However, Lady Harding did not have to at that point as she had not received an alert.

Under the rules, she only had to quarantine with Mr Penrose if he developed symptoms.  

Weston-super-Mare MP Mr Penrose said on Twitter last week: ‘It never rains but it pours…. my NHS app has just gone off, telling me to self-isolate, which I’m doing.

‘No symptoms so far *crosses fingers*’

Asked if he had spoken to his wife about it, he said: ‘We are trying to make sure we are doing it by the book, if I can put it that way.

‘Her NHS app has not gone off, so it’s someone I have been in contact with rather than her.’

In response to a suggestion that it showed the system worked, Mr Penrose said: ‘I suppose it does.’


John Penrose, the MP husband of Test and Trace chief Baroness Harding (pictured left: The couple together), has been told to self-isolate by the coronavirus app – though she has not been asked to. However, Lady Harding (pictured right) has not received an alert telling her to self-isolate, Mr Penrose added

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