Boris vows cities will ‘bounce back’ despite working from home rules potentially staying until JUNE


Boris vows cities will ‘bounce back’ despite working from home rules potentially remaining until JUNE under his lockdown roadmap – while the ‘Stay at Home’ slogan will be swapped for ‘Stay Local’ at the end of March

  • PM said working from home should go on until social distancing review ends
  • Roadmap reveals that is expected ‘ahead of step 4’, which could be up to June 21
  • ‘Stay home’ slogan is to be changed on March 29 for ‘stay local’ as rules change

Boris Johnson said tonight he was confident Britain’s cities would ‘bounce back’ from the coronavirus exodus of workers – as it was revealed working from home rules could be in place until the summer.

The Prime Minister told MPs today that rules that have ordered people not to go to offices and factories unless they cannot work anywhere will continue until the completion of a review into long-term social distancing measures. 

It came as it was revealed that the official ‘stay home’ slogan that has accompanied the latest lockdown as it did the first is to be officially abandoned on March 29, when people are allowed to leave home for social reasons.

It will be replaced by ‘stay local’ as ministers try to allow people some freedom without creating a surge in Covid cases.

Mr Johnson’s roadmap document reveals that that the social distancing review is expected to be  completed ‘ahead of step 4’, which will start no earlier than June 21.

It raises the prospect of economic problems for city centres across the UK to continue for many months to come – while shops, pubs and restaurants will be allowed to open they may not have any customers.

But pressed on the issue at a Downing Street press conference tonight the PM said: ‘There will be changes as a result of the pandemic and it will accelerate some trends and it may be that … there are opportunities for more residential accommodation in town centres, in high streets which are changing the way they work anyway for a long time.

‘But I don’t believe that this is going to mean a fundamental change to the way our life in our big cities really works.  

Boris Johnson said tonight he was confident Britain’s cities would ‘bounce back’ from the coronavirus exodus of workers – as it was revealed working from home rules could be in place until the summer. 

The official 'stay home' slogan that has accompanied the latest lockdown as it did the first is to be officially abandoned on March 29, when people are allowed to leave home for social reasons.

The official ‘stay home’ slogan that has accompanied the latest lockdown as it did the first is to be officially abandoned on March 29, when people are allowed to leave home for social reasons.

‘I  used to chair Transport for London  for a long time and I remember the better remote communication gets and the more people can see each other and talk on mobile devices and the rest of it there is a paradox – the more they actually want to see each other face-to-face for whatever reason.

‘That I’m sure will come back and I think that London, our great cities, will be full of buzz and life and excitement again, provided people have confidence about coming back into those city centres.’

Under Mr Johnson’s roadmap shops, hairdressers and pubs must remain closed until April 12 at the earliest – the same time gyms can get back up and running – regardless of mounting fears about the economic meltdown. 

Even at that point pints and meals can only be consumed outdoors. Social distancing rules will stay in force until June 21 at the minimum, with a government review to decide their future after that.

It has led to fears that some changes introduced in the lockdown might be permanent. 

Mr Johnson told the Commons today:’ Our journey back towards normality will be subject to resolving a number of key questions and to do this we will conduct four reviews.

‘One will assess how long we need to maintain social distancing and face masks.

‘This will also inform guidance on working from home – which should continue wherever possible until this review is complete.’

The roadmap document itself goes into more detail.

‘Social distancing is difficult and damaging for businesses and, as a result, it is important to return to as near to normal as quickly as possible,’ it says.

‘Ahead of Step 4, as more is understood about the impact of vaccines on transmission and a far greater proportion of the population has been vaccinated, the Government will complete a review of social distancing measures and other long-term measures that have been put in place to limit transmission. 

‘The results of the review will help inform decisions on the timing and circumstances under which rules on 1m+, face masks and other measures may be lifted.

‘The review will also inform guidance on working from home – people should continue to work from home where they can until this review is complete.’

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