PM expected to scrap ‘work from home’ policy in England – Wales Chief Medic says it’s still ‘better to work at home’
Boris Johnson is expected to scrap the work from home policy in England and give employers the green light to get staff back into offices and workplaces.
The policy was introduced across the UK as parts of lockdown measures introduced in March to stop the spread of coronavirus.
It’s reported he will hold a Downing Street press conference today to tell people it is safe to return to the office in August.
Current guidance in Wales is that “workers are only allowed to return to the workplace if it is not reasonably practicable for them to work from home.”
With lockdown measures easing and more parts of the economy opening up, a large proportion of the population is now back at work.
In the case of our front line key workers, they haven’t stopped working throughout the crises.
But, there are many people employed over the border in England who have been working from their homes in North Wales for the past four months, they now look set to return to workplaces in the next few weeks.
During yesterday’s daily press briefing, Chief Medical Officer Dr Frank Atherton was asked what the Welsh Government position will be once Mr Johnson scraps England’s work from home policy.
Dr Atherton said: “Our position is that if you can work at home, then it’s better to work at home and many of us are able to do that.
We recognise of course that that’s not possible for everybody and we do expect to see some increase in opening of workplaces.
Shops, for example, are already starting to have and people have to travel for that.”
Dr Atherton said: “People will need to travel to work, we have to look at both the economic consequences of the pandemic, as well as the health consequences and ministers are very conscious of that.
I think the art of this is that as we reopen the economy, we need to do it in such a way that we don’t lead back to square one.”
The CMO warned that hospitals must not get back to the situation they were in April when many were ‘overloaded, he said:
The worst thing would be to get back to the exponential growth of viral transmission.
We mustn’t forget what a difficult time it was for everybody (at the peak of the crisis) and how close the NHS came to being overloaded, we can’t go back, we can’t afford to go back to that.
So a cautious opening and movement across the boundaries England, Wales border is perfectly open so it is reasonable for people to travel for work.”
You can view the press conference here:
Yn fyw gyda’r @CMOWales, Dr. Frank Atherton | Live with @CMOWales, Dr. Frank Atherton https://t.co/WSZvPtSdTi
— Welsh Government (@WelshGovernment) July 16, 2020
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email firstname.lastname@example.org