- Life in the UK could return to normal by November, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said.
- Johnson told a press conference on Friday that all remaining coronavirus social distancing measures could be lifted in time for Christmas.
- He also announced the lifting of current ‘work at home’ guidance for employers starting from August.
- The decision came despite coronavirus case numbers increasing in the UK according to a recent study.
- The Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance had said he saw “no reason” to change current guidance.
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Boris Johnson has said that life in the UK could return to “normality” with all remaining coronavirus social-distancing restrictions removed in time for Christmas.
“It is my strong and sincere hope that we will be able to review the outstanding restrictions and allow a more significant return to normality from the November at the earliest — possibly in time for Christmas,” the UK Prime Minister told a press conference on Friday.
Johnson said current social distancing rules could be dropped altogether by that time.
“We hope that by November at the earliest if we can continue to make progress in our struggle against the virus then it may conceivably be possible to move away from the social distancing measures – the one-metre rule and other things – by that time,” he said.
However, he admitted that it was possible the virus could become more “virulent” over the winter months, meaning the reimposition of current restrictions.
The number of coronavirus deaths has continued to fall in the UK. However, case numbers have flatlined, with some studies suggesting they may be starting to rise again.
The UK Prime Minister made the comments as he announced the partial lifting of previous guidance instructing workers to work from home where possible, from the start of August.
“Where employers think it is time to get people back and it can be done in a safe way then that is what we think they should be doing but it is for them to decide,” Johnson said.
He announced the decision despite the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance warning on Thursday that he saw “no reason” to change the guidance.
“Of the various distancing measures, working from home for many companies remains a perfectly good option because it’s easy to do,” Vallance told a parliamentary committee.
“I think a number of companies think it’s actually not detrimental to productivity. And in that situation, there’s absolutely no reason I can see to change it.”