Top journalists Nick Robinson and Jon Snow in isolation over coronavirus fears
The BBC’s Nick Robinson and Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow are both in self-isolation as coronavirus fears take their toll on British journalism.
Robinson, who presents Radio 4’s Today programme, said he had been given a “routine precautionary check” for the virus after returning from Vietnam and Cambodia.
The former Beeb political editor said he was hoping for the all-clear within 48 hours and would spend two days at home in self-isolation.
Meanwhile Channel 4 News presenter revealed he was also in self-isolation in London after travelling to Iran, which has suffered one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks outside China.
In an interview with his employer, the veteran broadcaster said: “I woke up this morning feeling rather tired, but that was from the trip.”
Snow said he did not have any symptoms of the virus, but would remain at home for two weeks in line with government guidance.
“The enormity of the prospect of 14 days hasn’t really hit me,” he said. “Maybe if you call me again in 14 days you will have a head case on your hands.”
Robinson also expressed concern about his stretch in quarantine, asking his Twitter followers for advice on what to watch and read.
“The Irishman? United beating Watford? Democratic debate?” he wrote. “Need light relief after reading brilliant but harrowing books about Vietnam War & Killing Fields.”
But the isolations — which are only a precaution — may provide some welcome respite for the government, with two of the country’s top political hacks out of the equation.
“I suspect Dominic Cummings would like to quarantine us all,” Robinson quipped in an interview with the Today programme this morning.
The outbreak of the virus, officially named Covid-19, has picked up pace outside China, with Italy the worst affected country in Italy.
The government has advised against all but essential travel to 11 quarantined towns in Italy, and four schools in England have shut down after pupils returned from skiing trips in the area.
Authorities have told Brits returning from affected areas to self-isolate in a bid to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.