Michael Gove is in self-isolation at home after a member of his family experienced coronavirus symptoms.
The Cabinet Office minister, one of the most senior figures in government, has said he is not displaying any symptoms himself.
In a series of interviews this morning, Gove insisted the business of government will carry on after Boris Johnson was admitted to intensive care following a worsening of his coronavirus symptoms.
The prime minister was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Thomas’ Hospital in London on Monday evening as what was said to be a “precaution” in case he needed to be put on a ventilator.
In Johnson’s absence, Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is standing in for him.
The deterioration in the PM’s condition comes at a critical moment in the coronavirus crisis, with the epidemic expected to reach its peak in the UK in the coming days.
There was a sense of shock in Westminster and beyond at the speed of his apparent decline following his admission to hospital on Sunday.
Downing Street said at the time that the move was a “precautionary step” as his symptoms of a cough and high temperature were continuing to persist after 10 days in self-isolation.
Initially he was said to have been continuing to work from his hospital bed and was receiving his ministerial red boxes.
But by 7pm on Monday, the decision was made to transfer him to intensive care so that a ventilator was close at hand if required.
The cabinet was informed shortly afterwards and the move was made public in an announcement by No. 10 shortly after 8pm.