Work from home guidance has been scrapped by Prime Minister Boris Johnson amidst a raft of announcements as England’s Covid Plan B is thrown out. The most recent round of guidance, asking Brits to work from home came into force on December 13, 2021.
It was introduced before Christmas to limit the spread of the Omicron variant, which quickly proved more transmissible than Delta and previous strains. It included measures like Covid passes at large events and mandatory masks in public spaces.
This meant all those who were able to work from home, largely professional sectors of work reliable on digital technology, stayed home. Now the guidance is scrapped though, they will be free to commute into work and work in busy offices once again.
The Plan B was due for its first review on January 26 and will now be scrapped at first offering, the PM announced after a bruising Prime Minister Question time in parliament.
The light touch guidance in England, was contrasted by legal restrictions in the other home nations as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland all shut nightclubs after Christmas amongst their efforts to curb Omicron.
The scrapping of work from home comes as Covid cases continue to fall day-on-day and the country looks set to hit pre-December levels within the next week or so.
The Omicron variant has led to record daily case levels, peaking at 246,269 new cases on December 29.
Thanks to the efforts of a successful vaccine campaign, despite these case rates, deaths were kept largely down. Business woman online at work, in a home office setting. A student studying online classes.
However, due to the lag between people catching Covid, and falling severely ill, and then again between that and dying, the country is now experiencing a rise in death rates, reaching numbers not seen since February last year.
Despite this, there is a cautious optimism that 2022 might be the year the pandemic becomes endemic. The announcements have come as Boris Johnson, once again, fights for his political life.
Ever since he tried to force through a change in rules to save Tory MP Owen Paterson from a 30-day paid suspension, Johnson has struggled with a number of crises. This has culminated in revelations of a large number of parties held in No.10, including holding Friday ‘wine times’ .
It has left the PM fighting for his premiership, with rumours swirling about letters of no-confidence going in just as the country might be turning the corner on the pandemic.
- A Tell / Metro report