CANBERRA, AAP – Barnaby Joyce has returned to federal parliament after concerns he may have been a close contact of a person with coronavirus.

Leader of the House Peter Dutton on Thursday advised MPs the deputy prime minister was not attending Question Time while he sought medical advice.

But just minutes later Mr Joyce entered the House of Representatives chamber to take up his position in the prime minister’s usual seat.

The Nationals leader did not address the issue when he answered a question from a government member.

Speaker Tony Smith invited him to clarify the situation.

“Shortly before Question Time I was alerted that I may have been in contact with a person who was a close contact with a case,” Mr Joyce said.

“I immediately sought further information and advice from Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd.

“As I am not a close contact I now am able to attend the chamber.”