9 Dec 2021

Australia's Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce tests positive for Covid-19

11:28 am on 9 December 2021

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Barnaby Joyce has tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in the United States.

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce pictured in 2016.

Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce (file photo) Photo: AFP

Joyce told ABC Radio New England he had been experiencing mild symptoms and chose to get tested.

"Look, obviously [I am] very frustrated I'm going to be locked up in a room by myself for 10 days, but that's part of the process," he said.

"It's probably developing, I'm probably very much in the early stages - but I'm more worried about being in a room by myself to be honest."

Joyce is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The deputy prime minister was in Washington DC for work relating to the government's plan for new social media regulations, and was previously in the United Kingdom before arriving in the US.

Joyce said he was disappointed he would be unable to consult with his US counterparts on the matter.

"Part of your job is you have got to travel … I really wanted to follow up on some of this online stuff, try to get better online protection laws and see where the United States are," he said.

"But that's the way the cookie crumbles."

Asked whether he knew which variant of Covid-19 he was infected with, Joyce joked he would "have to talk to it tonight and find out which one it is".

"It's just me and Omicron in this room, I'll have a yarn to it tonight."

Acting Nationals leader David Littleproud said in a tweet that he had spoken to Joyce this morning, and wished him well.

"He's isolating in the US until it's safe for him to come home and we wish him all the best for his recovery," Littleproud said.

Joyce said other members of the delegation had all tested negative for Covid-19.


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