Brits told to work from home if they can until at least June as lockdown roadmap unveiled

BRITS will have to work from home if they can until June at the earliest, Boris Johnson revealed today.

The Prime Minister unveiled his roadmap back to normal this afternoon, telling the Commons he hopes it will be a "one way road to freedom".

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He said we "cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions" adding: "That is why it is so crucial that this roadmap should be cautious and indefinite." 

The PM confirmed he will ease the nation back to normality in four stages, with each new stage assessed every five weeks.

The Government will review its work from home rules ahead of the fourth and final stage of the plan.

It comes as…

  • Boris Johnson today announced his map was a "one way road to freedom"
  • All students will return to England schools from March 8
  • Hairdressers will open from April 12 along with gyms
  • Pubs will reopen for indoor drinking in May as outdoor service returns in April
  • Brits will be able to meet inside from May 17 while following the rule of 6 or two households
  • Working from home measures will remain in place until at least June
  • Nightclubs will reopen on June 21 as the lockdown is lifted into summer
  • A full list of businesses that must stay closed until April 12 was revealed today – with cinemas and bingo halls to stay closed until May 17

The PM said this afternoon: “Our journey back towards normality will be subject to resolving a number of key questions. And to do this we will conduct four reviews." 

He added: “One will assess how long we need to maintain social distancing and face masks.

"This will also inform guidance on working from home which will continue wherever possible until this review is complete.”

Publishing its blueprint this afternoon, the Government admitted social distancing is "difficult and damaging for businesses" and, as a result, it is important to "return to as near to normal as quickly as possible". 

The official roadmap document states: “Ahead of Step 4, as more is understood about the impact of vaccines on transmission and a far greater proportion of the population has been vaccinated, the Government will complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures that have been put in place to limit transmission. 

“The results of the review will help inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on 1metre+, face masks and other measures may be lifted. 

“The review will also inform guidance on working from home – people should continue to work from home where they can until this review is complete.”

The “work from home” message was brought in at the start of the first lockdown last March.

That changed though during the summer as Covid cases eased and employees were urged to return to their offices in a bid to get Britain working again, despite objections from Labour MPs and trade unions.

When Boris announced the third national lockdown at the start of this year, he said people should go to work only if they “absolutely” could not work from home.

Rules now state you may only leave home for work if you cannot reasonably work from home.

This includes, but is not limited to, people who work in critical national infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, childcare or education, essential public services and essential retail such as supermarkets and pharmacies.

It comes after Tory backbenchers last week urged the government to provide clarity on when staff may be able to return to their desks.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said: "We need to get people back to work as soon as possible.

“There are lots of reasons why work is important to our lives. It affects people’s physical and mental wellbeing and there are issues around productivity.

“I would like to see as much detail as possible in the roadmap to help people to make plans. They need to know in advance.”

 

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