A private coronavirus advice hotline has been set up for MPs and Lords, after a number of parliamentarians tested positive for the illness.
Members of the public are advised to dial NHS 111 if they have concerns or are in need of guidance, but MPs and Lords have been told to contact Public Health England direct on a private line.
In an email sent to peers last night, seen by us, parliamentary authorities said the private line should be their “first port of call”.
The email read: “A dedicated Coronavirus Members’ Hotline and email address to Public Health England has been set up.
“It is for members of the Houses of Commons and Lords and your immediate teams. It important that the number is restricted to these groups.
“The line is open 8am-8pm seven days a week.
“This should be your first port of call for any queries or information on the virus and impact in your areas as well as the latest guidance and advice.”
Members of the press and other workers in Parliament have not been offered access to the advice line.
A cabinet minister is among a growing number of people who have self-isolated in Westminster after coming into contact with the health minister, Nadine Dorries, before she tested positive for coronavirus this week.
It is for members of the Houses of Commons and Lords and your immediate teams. It important that the number is restricted to these groups.”
Junior health minister Ed Argar, who does not attend cabinet, is also self-isolating after having dinner with Ms Dorries on Thursday night.
Others self-isolating include the Labour MP Rachael Maskell, at least two students and staff from a catering college who served Dorries at a Downing Street reception, and her Mid Bedfordshire constituency chairman.
Despite the growing number of cases, health secretary Matt Hancock told the Commons on last night that parliament would not close.