United Kingdom

Boris Johnson confirms advice to work from home set to go from June 21

Boris Johnson has said that advice to work from home where possible should be scrapped by June 21.

The PM insisted it is his intention to drop the guidance at the next stage of lockdown easing as he updated MPs on progress against the pandemic.

He also made clear that the government will confirm the relaxation of limits on weddings by the end of this month, so that people can have larger ceremonies and receptions from June 21.  

The positive messages came after the premier batted away calls for a dramatic acceleration of the lockdown exit strategy.

He announced earlier this week that easings will go ahead on May 17, including reopening hospitality indoors and allowing friends and relatives to hug 'cautiously'.

But he said it was still prudent to wait until June 21 for the end of most other restrictions - indicating it is possible that social distancing measures might go entirely at that point. 

Boris Johnson insisted it is his intention to drop the guidance at the next stage of lockdown easing as he updated MPs on progress against the pandemic

Many businesses and MPs have been warning that city centres are being hollowed out by the advice to work from home during the pandemic. Pictured, central London in March

In the Commons this afternoon, the Tory MP for Kensington, Felicity Buchan, said the economy in central London was 'hurting' due to the lack of commuters.

She pushed the PM to confirm the 'plan is to lift the work-at-home guidance as of June 21 providing we stay on track'.

Mr Johnson replied: 'That is certainly our intention provided we stay on track but … we'll wait until we're able to say that with more clarity a bit later on because we must be guided by what's happening with the pandemic … It does depend on keeping the virus down.'

He also told the House to expect an announcement on weddings by around May 24.

He pointed out that Banns of marriage - the public announcement of an upcoming nuptual - must be displayed in register offices for 28 days before the ceremony.

'It's very important that for the purposes of the banns we will be making an important within 28 days as it were, of June 21,' he said. 

From May 17, up to 30 people will be able to attend weddings and receptions.

But ministers went further on funerals by declaring that all limits on mourners can go, after protests from campaigners. 

The government has said it is looking at whether all limits can be removed on weddings and other life events from June 21.

Boris Johnson himself is thought to be planning to marry fiancee Carrie Symonds when the restrictions are eased - although they have not revealed any date. 

The government's roadmap said that up to 15 people - not including children aged under five - can attend weddings and receptions when the loosening takes place next month (Stock image)

Boris Johnson himself is thought to be planning to marry fiancee Carrie Symonds (pictured together last week) when the restrictions are eased - although they have not revealed any date

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