Boris Johnson has been admitted to hospital with coronavirus after suffering persistent symptoms for 10 days.

Downing Street insisted it was just a precautionary measure but Johnson’s admission on a Sunday evening comes after days of rumours that his condition has been worsening.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: “On the advice of his doctor, the prime minister has tonight been admitted to hospital for tests. This is a precautionary step, as the prime minister continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive for the virus.”

It is understood Johnson remains in charge of the government, although Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary and first secretary of state, is poised to take charge if he should worsen.

Johnson had been hoping to leave quarantine on Friday after seven days of self isolation but his persistent temperature meant he had to remain inside his flat at No 11 Downing Street.

Earlier on Sunday, Matt Hancock was asked just how ill the prime minister was. The health secretary told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “He’s OK. I’ve been talking to him every day, several times a day… he’s very much got his hand on the tiller. But he’s still got a temperature.”

He added: “He’s working away inside Downing Street. He’s in good spirits.”