He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I don’t think it’s a question of applying for this.
“We’re going to be publishing guidance today on who might be exempt.
“We’re looking at different sectors and we will be publishing today the sectors that will be affected.”
The guidance is expected to only apply south of the border and not specifically to Scotland.
The Scottish Government has said it is reviewing what workers need to self-isolate when alerted by the Protect Scotland app.
He said he would not “pre-empt” the list when asked if the food industry would be on it.
The looming list publication comes amid fears of a shortage of essential supplies across the UK, particularly at supermarkets and fuel services, as staff are increasingly forced into self-isolation due to contact with positive Covid cases.
The UK Government’s “confusing advice” over whether lorry drivers must isolate when ‘pinged’ by the NHS coronavirus app is partly to blame for the shortage of staff, according to Rod McKenzie, managing director of policy at the Road Haulage Association (RHA).
When asked how long he expects the shortage to last, Mr McKenzie said: “It will last as long as the government continues to give confusing advice.
“We’re in this pickle because the government says a small number of essential workers are exempt from isolating if they’ve been double-jabbed and test negative, but what is essential?”