MILLIONS of Brits have been ordered to continue working from home for another month after Boris Johnson pushed back the June 21 'Freedom Day'.
The PM announced to the nation this evening that Covid restrictions would not be fully lifted until July 19.
🔵 Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest updates
In a gloomy press conference, the PM said it was a "difficult choice" to push back restrictions being fully lifted, but said he was "concerned" about the delta variant.
A sombre PM said tonight: "I think it is sensible to wait just a little longer.
"We will hold off until July 19.
"I am confident we won't need more than four weeks - it's unmistakable clear that the vaccines are working - but now is the time to ease off the accelerator.
"We have the chance to save many thousands of lives by vaccinating millions more people."
It was also announced that:
Brits have been banned from returning to the office until more people have received their first Covid-19 vaccination.
The return to the office is seen as being the least economically damaging option to curb the spread of the deadly virus.
It comes as a 240% surge in the Indian strain, known as the Delta variant, has seen cases snowball across pockets of England.
The strain is estimated to be 60% more infectious than the Alpha version which originated in Kent last winter.
FREEDOM DAY - KEY DATES
June 14: Boris Johnson will address the nation and reveal his plan to push Freedom Day back to July 19
June 21: The original end of lockdown under the PM's roadmap, which has now been delayed
July 5: The PM will run the rule over the data for a two-week 'break-clause' review. If hospitalisations haven't increased significantly, restrictions could be relaxed early.
July 19: The new 'Freedom Day' date where all remaining rules should be lifted.
Many employees will have been hoping for a return to the office later this month, particularly those who do not have ideal working conditions at home.
Here, we take you through your rights when it comes to heading back into the office.
Do I have to work from home?
Employers are legally within their rights to tell you where they'd like you to work.
The latest government guidance states that employees should work from home if they can to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Employers have a legal duty to keep employees safe, including encouraging them to work from home if possible while the latest rules remain in place.
But if you can't do your job efficiently at home, then you are allowed to return to the office as long as your employer agrees, for example, if it's too hot or too cold.
However, employers must ensure there are certain safety measures in place before allowing workers to return.
These include increasing the distance between workstations to allow for social distancing, and encouraging mask-wearing when walking around the building.
Employers shouldn't force workers back to the office before restrictions are eased either.
Jamie Riseley, employment solicitor at Poole Alcock, previously told The Sun that businesses should be listening to your concerns about eventually returning to the office.
He said: "Businesses should certainly consider whether it is appropriate to press staff to return to the workplace where they are able to work from home effectively."
If your boss insists on you coming into the office despite the restrictions, Citizens Advice points out that there are options you could consider to avoid working in the office.
You can ask to be furloughed, which means that you’ll be paid 80% of your normal pay up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Or, you can take paid leave off and use some of your annual leave to stay clear of the workplace.
What are my rights after restrictions lift?
Technically, bosses have the right to ask you back into the office when all work from home restrictions are lifted.
But many of those who've been working from home for over a year now will find that their circumstances have changed.
In this instance, you should talk to your employer to negotiate any changes to your contract that will enable you to work to the standard expected without having to head back to an office full time.
While employers can currently tell you where they’d like to work, workers might be given the legal right to work from home in the future.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is expected to look at extending the existing flexible working rights later this year.
Current rules mean employees can request changes in working patterns and employers must deal with these in a "reasonable manner" within three months.
Ministers may also extend the existing scheme further by introducing the right to request ad hoc flexible working, meaning Brits can change their hours to when it suits them.
It would give thousands of employees the freedom to make appointments during the working day and have more control over their diaries.
SHUTTERED SHUTThe full list of businesses NOT reopening on June 21 - when can they return?
FRESH FREEBIEHow to get a free pack of Pampers nappies worth £9 from Asda
ON A ROLLGreggs giving away free sausage rolls worth £1.20 - how to get yours
BUY, BUY, BUYInside the 10 cheapest properties for sale with prices starting from £29,950
BURGER MEMcDonald's launches new BBQ Bacon Stack burger - and Mozzarella Dippers are back
CARD CRISIS Tesco shoppers fuming after payment glitch charged them up to THREE TIMES
Your boss could be BANNED from emailing you out of hours.
While four in 10 working from home enthusiasts are wanting to work abroad to do their job.
While the hot weather continues, can you stop working if it's too hot? We explain.