Boris Johnson has said the government is likely to scrap its work from home advice on 21 June if its roadmap out of lockdown goes to plan.
Return to offices and hybrid working
Asked whether the advice will be dropped next month during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday, Johnson said: “That is certainly our intention provided we stay on track, but I want to be sure that people will wait until we’re able to say that with more clarity later on, because we must be guided by what’s happening with the pandemic.”
He was confident that office working would return rapidly, stating: “I think it’ll come back remarkably quickly, but it does depend on keeping the virus down”.
The government’s roadmap out of lockdown suggests that by step 4, which will take place no earlier than 21 June, it will be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact.
However, its plans could be stalled if new variants continue to spread rapidly across the UK. Today the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) committee will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the rapid spread of the Indian variant in the UK.
The Prime Minister has said there is “increasing concern” about the variant first identified in India, and warned the emergence of further new variants “pose a potentially lethal danger”.
The European Medicines Agency has said that it was “pretty confident” that existing Covid-19 vaccines are effective against the new variant.
Before step 4 begins the government would have completed a review of social distancing and other measures that have been in place to reduce Covid-19 transmission, including the wearing of face coverings and the “1 metre plus” rule.
The Chartered Management Institute has found that 78% of managers have experienced apprehension from employees about the return to the office. Social distancing at work (59%) and the use of public transport to commute to work (48%) were the biggest concerns.
At 10 May, around 53% of the UK population had received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 27% were fully vaccinated.