Work from home guidance ‘likely to be extended’

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Work from home guidance ‘likely to be extended’
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  • Boris Johnson
    Boris Johnson
    Prime Minister of the United Kingdom since 2019

Work from home guidance is likely to be extended beyond a government review next week, it has been reported.

The current guidance is part of England’s Plan B measures and also includes widespread mask wearing in public places and mandatory Covid passes for large events.

The restrictions brought in last month are set to expire six weeks after implementation, with a review after three weeks, which is expected on or close to Tuesday January 4.

However, the Daily Telegraph reports that the review could see the work from home guidance remain in place into the latter half of the month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had initially stated he wanted the measures lifted “no later than early January and possibly before”.

Government figures showed a further 189,846 lab-confirmed Covid-19 cases had been recorded in the UK on Friday, another new record for daily reported cases.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the record-breaking Omicron wave of infection will “test the limits of finite NHS capacity even more than a typical winter”.

Mr Javid, writing in the Daily Mail, said England had “welcomed in 2022 with some of the least restrictive measures in Europe”, with the UK Government at odds with the devolved nations in choosing to keep nightclubs open and to allow hospitality to operate without further measures for new year celebrations.

“Curbs on our freedom must be an absolute last resort and the British people rightly expect us to do everything in our power to avert them,” he said.

“Since I came into this role six months ago, I’ve also been acutely conscious of the enormous health, social and economic costs of lockdowns.

“So I’ve been determined that we must give ourselves the best chance of living alongside the virus and avoiding strict measures in the future.”

The Cabinet minister said the time lag between infections and hospital admissions meant it was “inevitable that we will still see a big increase” in Covid patients over the next month as he warned that, as the coronavirus crisis entered its third year, the pandemic is “still far from over”.

Hospital admissions in England stand at their highest since last January, with 2,370 Covid-19 patients taken in on December 29 – up 90% week-on-week.

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