Michael Gove has insisted it is safe for Boris Johnson to visit Scotland.
The senior Cabinet minister told BBC Radio Scotland: “It is the case that the prime minister will be operating in a Covid-secure way.
“There will be no danger to anyone’s health as a result, in fact quite the opposite, what the prime minister will be doing is making sure that the vaccine roll-out in Scotland gets the full support of the UK government.”
Gove has insisted that the trip to Scotland is “absolutely essential” despite criticism of the visit from Nicola Sturgeon.
“He’s the prime minister of the United Kingdom, it’s absolutely essential that the prime minister is there to see how on the front line we are progressing in our vaccine delivery and roll-out programme.
“It’s absolutely right that the prime minister should not only thank those who are responsible for the roll-out but also see for himself how it’s going.
“It’s critically important that the Scottish government and the UK government are working together to do everything we can to support the roll-out and see what we can do to improve it.”
He said there is “no substitute for a leader better than being there” when asked why he did not speak to people remotely.