Boris Johnson expected to give working from home update today – Liverpool Echo - Freelance Rack

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Friday, July 17, 2020

Boris Johnson expected to give working from home update today – Liverpool Echo

Boris Johnson is set to unveil a blueprint today which will see millions of Briton return to the workplace, the Mirror reports.

Today’s announcement comes amid growing concern about the cost of the lockdown on the UK economy.

The country’s high streets have taken a battering since the lockdown was introduced in March to stem the spread of coronavirus.

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey has warned that city centre economies would suffer more damage unless the country returned to work soon.

Dido Harding, the government’s “test and trace” chief is expected to join the Prime Minister at the lectern for the announcement later today.

Offices

Mr Johnson is expected to ditch the official advice for employees to work from home, which has been in place since the start of the lockdown in March.

Key workers were exempt, such as frontline NHS and care staff, transport workers and people working in the emergency services.

Firms will now be given more leeway over safety measures so they can get more workers back in.

However, the new advice is likely to stop short of ordering them to return to work.

Instead, it will set out a roadmap of how staff can get back to the office over the next nine months.

Union leaders are likely to sound the alarm over the safety of workers, warning that employees must not be put at risk to prop up struggling high streets.

Public transport

Mr Johnson is expected to rip up official guidance that tells people to avoid using public transport for all but essential travel.

Travelling during the morning rush hour is likely to still be advised against, with Brits encouraged to drive, walk and cycle instead during the busy period.

Some rail operators are already removing slogans that advise people against travel. The focus instead will be about travelling off-peak, hand washing and mask use.

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Reassuring the public that it is safe to get on buses and trains is seen as key to getting people back to work.

Wearing a face covering on public transport is now mandatory in England – which the government hopes will inspire confidence, as well as preventing the spread of the virus.

Everything else

There is no government guidance on wearing masks in shops. The Prime Minister is under pressure to deliver this with only a week to go until it becomes mandatory to sport a face covering in English stores on July 24.

Mr Johnson also faces questions about the roll-out of local lockdowns, first used in Leicester after a spike in coronavirus cases.

The Government was expected to decide on Thursday whether localised restrictions should continue in the city.

Mr Johnson finally committed to holding an independent inquiry into his government’s botched handling of the pandemic but he has refused so far to offer details on when it would begin.



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