British Ministers will not tell workers to return to office when lockdown ends

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Workers will not be told by ministers that they should return to their offices when the final phase of lockdown restrictions are expected to be lifted next month, government sources have told the Guardian.

In a significant change of approach from last summer, the government is minded to let companies make their own decisions – a strategy that could lead to conflict and confusion among staff.

Boris Johnson was accused of rushing too quickly to get quiet city centres back to pre-pandemic levels when restrictions were lifted last July.

His former closest adviser, Dominic Cummings, said last month that the prime minister’s “main concern” was prioritising helping the economy recover quickly at the expense of Covid cases rising again.

But Johnson is said to favour a more cautious approach in the run-up to the final stage of his roadmap out of lockdown for England, pushed back from 21 June to 19 July.

Current guidance that tells people to work from home where possible is likely to be changed to a more agnostic approach.

Photo: EPA-EFE/ANDY RAIN

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