When will offices reopen?

THE Government has revealed its plan for England to exit coronavirus lockdown – but office working appears to have been placed at the back of the queue.

Boris Johnson did not reveal a date for when workers can return to their offices when he unveiled his roadmap back to normality this week. Here's what we know so far…

When can offices reopen?

There are no official guidelines for when offices can reopen at present.

Workers be asked to continue working from home if they can until June 21 at the earliest, Boris Johnson revealed during a press conference on February 22, 2021.

It will be included in the PM's four step roadmap to exiting lockdown, with office workers expected to be included in the fourth and final step to normality.

When will office workers go back to work?

Mr Johnson said this afternoon: “Our journey back towards normality will be subject to resolving a number of key questions. And to do this we will conduct four reviews." 

He added: “One will assess how long we need to maintain social distancing and face masks.

"This will also inform guidance on working from home which will continue wherever possible until this review is complete.”

Will some companies work from home permanently?

Yes. Some of the large tech and finance companies with offices based in the UK – including Facebook, Twitter, Verizon, Spotify and J.P. Morgan – will require workers to do their jobs from home on a permanent basis.

It’s expected the “work from home if you can” message will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

A few large firms have already delayed a return to the office desk until at least the end of the year.

As he unveiled his four-stage plan for lifting the restrictions, Johnson cautioned that there would be no “zero COVID world”, so people would have to get used to the coronavirus as they have got used to the flu.

But he gave no clear date for an end to working from home — one of the biggest changes to working practices in decades.

Johnson said the government would review the need for social distancing and face masks in a process that would conclude ahead of Step 4 of the restart plan, which would not come into force before June 21.

It comes as some companies have started drawing up "no jab, no job" contracts as way of making employees get the Covid vaccine.

Lawyers have warned though this strategy is "risky" and could be challenged.

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