Queen Elizabeth Resumes Work After Coronavirus Scare

LONDON — Queen Elizabeth II is returning to work after a Covid scare, Buckingham Palace said on Tuesday, ending more than a week of heightened concern about the health of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch after it was announced that she had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The palace said that the monarch was feeling well enough to resume virtual engagements and other duties, including audiences with representatives from other countries.

Queen Elizabeth, 95, first tested positive for the coronavirus on Feb. 20, with the palace describing her symptoms as mild.

It was unclear where or from whom the queen had contracted the infection, but several others in her residence at Windsor Castle, west of London, also tested positive, suggesting an outbreak there. The queen had also recently met her eldest son and heir, Prince Charles, who was later reported to be isolating after becoming reinfected with the coronavirus.

In the days after she first tested positive, Elizabeth canceled some virtual engagements at least twice after showing mild symptoms but continued with “light duties,” the palace said.

She received a first coronavirus vaccination in January 2021, but the palace has not confirmed whether she received subsequent doses. Charles has said that he is fully vaccinated and also received a booster.

Still, news that a potentially deadly virus had infected the queen, who recently celebrated the 70th anniversary of her reign, prompted worries about her well-being. She had spent much of the pandemic in quarantine at Windsor Castle with her husband, Prince Philip, who died in April at age 99.

In the fall, the queen canceled multiple public appearances and was admitted to hospital for tests before being discharged and advised to rest.

Her positive test for the virus came as Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted England’s Covid restrictions last week, including the rule that those who received a positive test must isolate for five days. So-called Covid passports for entry to some indoor venues will eventually be phased out in April, when the government will also stop providing free testing for the public.

On Monday, Britain reported a daily average of 33,161 new cases in the past week, according to official figures. Cases have decreased by 52 percent from the average two weeks ago, and deaths in that time have decreased by 40 percent.

Wales and Scotland, whose officials set their own policies on public health, also relaxed some legal curbs on Monday, though they have not gone as far as England.

Mark Landler contributed reporting.

Leave a Comment