Boris Johnson said three weeks before his Covid-19 diagnosis that he was "shaking hands with everybody," including coronavirus patients, and would continue to do so.
The prime minister tested positive for the virus on Friday as the latest UK politician to contract Covid-19, along with health secretary Matt Hancock, reports Independent.
Despite being well aware of WHO's guidelines, Johnson continued ignoring that advice let alone made public comments downplaying them.
In the early days of March, Johnson appeared to have a casual attitude towards the virus as European leaders began warning their citizens to stop unnecessary social contact when greeting people.
At a press conference on March 3 he told reporters he was still shaking hands and advised them to emphasize more on "washing hands". That time, UK had less than 100 cases.
"I was at a hospital the other night where I think there were actually a few coronavirus patients and I shook hands with everybody, you'll be pleased to know, and I continue to shake hands," Johnson said.
At a Commonwealth Day service on 9 March, he was filmed attempting to shake hands with a bishop at Westminster Abbey before stopping himself after remembering health advice.
When he was again asked about it he said it's "a cue" to remind people of washing hands.
"Behavioural psychologists say that if you don't shake somebody's hand that sends an important message to them about the importance of washing your hands," Johnson said.
On March 25, Johnson was seen closely sitting together with other ministers on the government's front bench in parliament, despite WHO's advice to stay 2 metres away from other people to avoid catching Covid-19.
He was also criticised last week for suggesting he would go see his mother on Mother's Day before admitting two days later that it was actually important for people to stay away to reduce the risk of passing on the virus.
Johnson's health secretary, Matt Hancock, who also has been identified positive of having coronavirus - said the impact of shaking hands was "negligible" and argued it was okay to shake someone's hand so long as you washed your hands "more often".
Now, after being positive of Covid-19 Johnson intends "To follow all of the guidelines which have been issued by Public Health England in full" said the PM's official spokesperson.
Carrie Symonds, Johnson's pregnant fiancee, who is expecting the couple's baby in early summer, will not be staying with him while he self-isolates for seven days.