Work from home order set to be DROPPED from July 19 as Boris Johnson lifts Covid restrictions in boost for high street

BORIS Johnson will today announce that the work from home rule will be scrapped from July 19 in a boost for the high street. 

Brits will be heading back to the office later this month in a bid to make city centres “buzz again”.

Brits will be heading back to the office later this month as restrictions are eased (Stock image)[/caption]

The PM will give a press conference this evening to announce which restrictions will be lifted on July 19 – the final date in the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

Forced mask wearing will be ditched as well as all limits on large gatherings and social distancing.

Current guidance states that employees who can work from home must do so – despite swathes of the economy being open.

But the rules are expected to change from July 19 to allow firms to tell employees how and where they should work.

The PM is also expected to announce…

  • The PM will give a press conference this evening laying out which restrictions will be scrapped
  • Face masks will be ditched, and will be a personal choice
  • Social distancing will no longer be required as part of unlocking
  • Double-jabbed Brits returning from amber list countries reportedly won’t have to quarantine after July 19

Ministers will shift the emphasis onto “personal responsibility” rather than enforced rules as the country emerges from the pandemic.

But firms could be encouraged to tell employees to wear face masks, use hand sanitiser and test employees for Covid, according to the Telegraph.

The move would as a boost for city centres, with many businesses seeing a plunge in revenue due to the lack of commuters.

A group of business leaders yesterday urged the PM to “set the country clearly on the path to recovery” by encouraging a return to the office.

The letter, organised by lobby group London First, said that businesses wanted to see city centres “buzz again” after July 19.

It reads: “Our economic recovery will only succeed if the government commits to reviving our city centres.”

Those signing the letter included Heathrow and Gatwick airport chief executives John Holland-Kaye and Stewart Wingate and BT boss Philip Jansen.

Many employees have been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic, despite a brief change in the guidance last summer.

Ministers encouraged employees to return to the workplace in August but were forced to U-turn after a steep rise in cases just a month later.

Meanwhile, social distancing will no longer be required as part of unlocking on July 19, reports have suggested.

According to The Sunday Times, mask wearing will become voluntary in all settings and the one metre-plus rule in hospitality venues will end, meaning a return to drinking at the bar without the requirement for table service.

Mass events, including festivals, will also be allowed under the proposals for the final stage of the road map out of lockdown, the paper reported.

The Government also expects to receive the results of the taskforce reviews into the use of so-called vaccine passports and the future of social distancing to be made available this week, the Sunday Express reported.

Health secretary Sajid Javid yesterday said that while the economic arguments for opening up were well known, for him the health arguments were “equally compelling”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday, Mr Javid said it was time to “find ways to cope with” the virus, like the country does flu.