In his role as first secretary of state, the prime minister’s de facto deputy, Dominic Raab will be expected to stand in for Boris Johnson if he is unable to work because of coronavirus.

While other ministers, including the health secretary Matt Hancock and the chancellor, Rishi Sunak, have been more visible during the Covid-19 outbreak, that position means he takes up the prime minister’s responsibilities if Johnson were unable to perform them himself.

Until now aides to the prime minister have insisted that Johnson can continue to work by video link, like much of the rest of the workforce. But on Sunday night Downing Street said that Raab was expected to chair the government’s coronavirus meeting on Monday morning. No 10 said that despite Raab’s duties, Johnson remained in charge.