Boris Johnson predicts workers will return to offices ‘in a few short months’ | UK | News (Reports)

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Earlier this week, the Prime Minister unveiled his plan to end coronavirus restrictions in England by June 21. His four-step roadmap will see measures lifted in stages from April 12 with hairdressers and gyms expected to reopen.

Speaking at a rail industry conference, Mr Johnson dismissed the notion that past and current lockdowns would lead to a permanent shift towards remote working.

Government guidelines to work from home are expected to remain in place until at least June 21 to minimise the risk of another surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Prime Minister said he believes a return to offices would resume once the lockdown is lifted in England.

He told the conference via video link: “I know that some people may imagine that all conferences are going be like this, held over Zoom, Teams or what have you and we’ve got to prepare for a new age in which people don’t move around, do things remotely, they don’t commute any more.

“I don’t believe it. Not for a moment.

“In a few short months, if all goes to plan, we in the UK are going to be reopening our economy.

“And then believe me the British people will be consumed once again with their desire for the genuine face-to-face meeting that makes all the difference to the deal or whatever it is.

“Never mind seeing our loved ones, going on holiday or whatever.”

READ MORE: Matt Hancock left squirming as Covid briefing descends into chaos

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam has warned the public not to “wreck this now”.

Speaking at Friday’s Downing Street briefing, he said: “Look, this is all going very well, but there are some worrying signs that people are relaxing, taking their foot off the brake at the wrong time.

“We are so close. Do not wreck this now. It is too early to relax.

“Just continue to maintain discipline and hang on just a few more months.”

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In another analogy from Prof Van-Tam, he compared the pandemic to losing a football game.

He said: “It’s a bit like being 3-0 up in a game and thinking ‘well, we can’t possibly lose this now’, but how many times have you seen the other side take it 4-3?”

On Friday, official figures show the UK has recorded 8,523 new COVID-19 cases and a further 345 deaths related to the virus in the latest 24-hour period.

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