Boris Johnson will need a period of “readjustment” and rest before returning to Downing Street, his father Stanley has said as the prime minister appeared to be on the road to recovery.

His remarks on Friday morning comes after No 10 revealed Mr Johnson had been moved from intensive care and back on to a ward at St Thomas’ Hospital and was said to be in “extremely good spirits”.

He was admitted to hospital on Sunday with persistent symptoms of covid-19, including a high temperature and cough, before spending three nights in intensive care following a deterioration in his condition on Monday.

Sharing the full story, not just the headlines

Speaking as Mr Johnson’s condition appeared to significantly improve, Stanley Johnson, the prime minister’s father, said the whole family was “amazingly grateful” for the efforts of the NHS and the huge outpouring of support for his son.

“To use that America expression, he almost took one for the team,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “We have got to make sure we play the game properly now.

He continued: “It’s pretty straight forward now. He must rest up. As I understand it, he has moved from the ICU [Intensive Care Unit] into a recovery unit but I don’t think you can say this is out of the wood now.

“He has to take time. I cannot believe you can walk away from this and get straight back to Downing Street and pick up the reins without a period of readjustment.”

Professor Stephen Powis, the medical director of NHS England, also said on Friday morning the prime minister will be receiving “world-class” care for his coronavirus symptoms during his stay at St Thomas’ Hospital.

“I am absolutely confident that he and all the other patients being looked after there, as in all our hospitals, are receiving world-class care,” he said. “I’m delighted he’s improving”.

On Thursday evening, a No 10 spokesperson said: “The prime minister has been moved this evening from intensive care back to the ward, where he will receive close monitoring during the early phase of his recovery. He is in extremely good spirits.”

The news of the prime minister’s move out of intensive care prompted messages from well-wishers across the political spectrum while his fiancee Carrie Symonds, tweeted a string of clapping emojis as she joined the Clap for Carers campaign at 8pm.

Matt Hancock, the health secretary, posted on Twitter: “So good that the prime minister is out of intensive care and on the road to recovery.

“The NHS is there for us all and I know our amazing NHS staff have given him their characteristic world-class care.”

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