Have your say: How often will you work from home after 21 June?

·Freelance Writer
·2 min read

As England continues to cautiously exit lockdown, Boris Johnson has signalled that the government may lift guidance to work from home next month.

Social distancing rules are set to come to an end on 21 June and the prime minister has stated that it is “certainly our intention” to change current advice about home working.

Many people have been forced to stay away from offices throughout the pandemic, in an effort to curb any spread of coronavirus.

But shops and cafes in town and city centres which rely on office workers for trade have been hit by the change in working patterns.

Now, with millions of people vaccinated and case numbers and deaths on the decline, the government is hoping to get workers back to offices in time for the summer.

Watch: PM confirms further easing of lockdown restrictions from 17 May

A recent YouGov survey found that 57% of those polled wanted to be able to continue working from home after the pandemic.

Government scientists have privately suggested that it makes sense for people to continue working from home to reduce contact with others.

But Johnson said the intention is to change the guidance “provided we stay on track” in efforts to tackle coronavirus.

He told MPs: “We’ll wait until we’re able to say that with more clarity a bit later on because we must be guided by what’s happening with the pandemic. It does depend on keeping the virus down.”

Downing Street would not be drawn on whether chief scientific adviser (CSA) Sir Patrick Vallance and chief medical officer (CMO) Professor Chris Whitty back the plan.

The prime minister’s official spokesman said: “I can’t speak for the CMO and CSA on this. The government always set out its intention to review this guidance ahead of step four (on the road map).”

Pedestrians walk along a high street with the shops closed in Maidstone, southeast England, on February 12, 2021 as life continues in Britain's third coronavirus lockdown that has closed all non-essential stores in an effort to suppress Covid-19 infections. - Britain's economy shrank by a record 9.9 percent last year on the fallout from the coronavirus, official data showed on February 12, but a rapid vaccines rollout has boosted the outlook. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
Shops and cafes in town and city centres which rely on office workers for trade have been hit by the change in working patterns. (Getty)

A government scientist source told PA Media that there is no reason to return to an office full-time if work can be done at home.

The source said that even last August, people were still only at about 50% of pre-pandemic contact levels with others.

They added that measures this summer which could help to keep case rates in check include home working, good ventilation in buildings, and tables being kept apart.

Read more: What to do if you're facing a return to the office and you don't want to

Watch: How England will leave lockdown