Mass working from home will continue until June at the least under a roadmap to exit lockdown laid out by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in parliament.
Businesses have been told to keep staff at home “where they can” until at least June, despite a loosening of lockdown restrictions from next month.
The government said it was reviewing social distancing and other measures that have been put in place to limit transmission of Covid-19.
Government guidance said people should continue working from home where they can until the review is completed which is projected to be before the final round of reopening in June.
The final step of the roadmap is slated to take place no earlier than 21 June and will mark the end of large-scale coronavirus restrictions.
Under step four the government plans to remove all legal limits on social contact, reopen nightclubs and theatres and remove all limits on weddings and other life events.
Johnson set out plans on 22 February to “cautiously but irreversibly” lift the UK out of its third national lockdown, with plans kicking off with the reopening of schools on 8 March.
“I know they are some who are worried that we are being too ambitious and that it is arrogant to impose any kind of plan upon a virus, I agree we must always be humble and cautious,” Johnson told MPs. “However, the vaccination programme has dramatically changed the odds in our favour.”
The statement in the House of Commons detailed a four-part roadmap, led by “data not dates” which comes as the government faced intensified pressure to explain how and when it will re-open the economy after England’s third nationwide lockdown.
There will be five weeks between each step, with four weeks for the data to reflect the changes in restrictions and then one week to notify the sectors.
Each step will depend on the continued success of the vaccine programme, as well as evidence that shows vaccines are effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths, infection rates don’t surge again and put pressure on the NHS, and that no variants change the perception of risk.
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