UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged people living in the country to return to work if they can, signalling a significant shift away from the current government policy, it was reported.
Johnson has announced it is time for people to live their lives “more normally”, adding that he wanted to see the public heading out into the world with more confidence, reports the Metro newspaper.
Addressing an online question and answer session with the public on Friday, he also hinted that people should expect stricter rules on wearing face coverings in confined public spaces soon.
“I want people to go back to work as carefully as possible. It’s very important that people should be going back to work if they can now.
“I think everybody has sort of taken the ‘stay at home if you can’… I think we should now say, well, ‘go back to work if you can’.
“Because I think it’s very important that people should try to lead their lives more normally. I want to see more people feeling confident to use the shops, use the restaurants, and get back into work – but only if we all follow the guidance.”
The government’s official coronavirus guidance currently advises people to “stay at home as much as possible” and ‘work from home if you can”.
But Johnson later clarified his statement, saying people should only return if their company is obeying the guidelines and it was safe to do so, the Metro newspaper reported.
Regarding face coverings, the Prime Minister said in the online session: “I do think we need to be stricter in insisting people wear face coverings in confined spaces where they are meeting people they don’t normally meet.
“We are looking at ways of making sure that people really do have face coverings in shops, for instance, where there is a risk of transmission.”
Face coverings are currently compulsory on public transport and in hospitals in England, while people are legally obliged to wear them inside shops and on public transport in Scotland.