United Kingdom

Boris Johnson poised to RELAX train and bus restrictions to get UK back to work

Boris Johnson is poised to rip up the Government's work from home guidance and urge people to start using public transport to physically return to their jobs. 

The Prime Minister is expected to deliver a press conference in Downing Street tomorrow afternoon when he will say it is time for people to go back to their workplaces. 

At the moment people are still being advised to work from home if they are able to while public transport is only supposed to be used as a last resort. 

But Mr Johnson will tell the UK it is now safe for more people to start returning to offices - and to use buses and trains to get there. 

Meanwhile, in a sign that a shift has already started, numerous train operators appear to have ditched the official advice to 'consider all other forms of transport before using public transport'. Many have now adopted a 'travel safely this summer' message instead.

The expected change in approach to be advocated by Mr Johnson comes after Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, told Tory MPs that deserted town and city centres risk holding back the UK's economic recovery.  

Boris Johnson will use a press conference tomorrow afternoon to set out new guidance on working from home and returning to offices

Mr Johnson is expected to tell people it is now safe for them to return to public transport. Some train operators, like Southern Railway, have already started to change their messaging

Train operators are now telling people to 'travel safely this summer' rather than advising them to only use public transport as a last resort 

The PM will reportedly set out a 'road map' for the further easing of lockdown measures to take place over the next few months. 

He will focus on spelling out to the nation that the Government's 'whack-a-mole' strategy of trying to contain localised coronavirus outbreaks means there can now be more of a return to normal life. 

The changes on working from home are likely to apply from next month but it is thought employers will not be able to force staff to return if they do not want to. 

Estimates suggest that train usage is currently below 20 per cent and Mr Johnson is expected to encourage more people to return to their regular commutes. 

Officials are working on a 'grading' system which will spell out the best and worst times to travel with people to be told to avoid using public transport between 7am and 9am if they are able to. 

A Whitehall source told The Sun: 'There's a lot of extra capacity on public transport that is not being used.

'People will be told that if you avoid the rush-hour, the crush times, it is safe to travel.

'The final messaging is still being worked on but there is a general recognition that we have got to get people back on to public transport.' 

Train operators appear to have already changed their guidance for commuters, seemingly in anticipation of Mr Johnson's announcement.  

Southern Railway has changed the message on its website to 'let's travel safely this summer', telling people to 'travel at quieter times, wash your hands, and wear a face covering'. 

Thameslink is said to have removed posters advising that people should only travel if it is essential. The operator is also now telling people to 'travel safely this summer'.      

Mr Bailey is said to have told a virtual meeting of Conservative MPs last night that a 'fear' of commuting is 'holding back the recovery'.  

The Governor of the Bank of England set out his concerns that quiet urban centres risk the future of many shops, restaurants and bars, according to The Telegraph.

Mr Bailey suggested ministers need to restore public confidence in public transport and that a failure to get people physically back to work could mean Britain being 'in a recession for a long time'. 

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey reportedly told Tory MPs that deserted town and city centres are 'holding back the recovery'

Empty tube and train carriages have spooked the Government amid fears continued working from home will decimate town and city centres 

One MP who watched Mr Bailey's address said the Governor's recovery plan involved 'trying to get people to overcome their caution and trying to get more people back on public transport'. 

Katy Taylor, commercial and customer director at the Go-Ahead Group public transport company, said: 'We welcome the Government's call for a return to public transport. 

'Buses and trains have a vital role in restarting the economy, and reconnecting people. 

'With extra cleaning, face coverings, social distancing and the ability to plan journeys at quieter times, people can return to using buses and trains with confidence.'  

Football news:

Manchester United are unhappy with the way Borussia was leading the negotiations for Sancho. The Germans did not want to communicate directly
Liverpool have announced the purchase of defender Tsimikas from Olympiakos
Bordeaux appointed ex-assistant Blanc Gasse as head coach
Sterling on the win over Real Madrid: Manchester City were incredibly hungry. We have the strength to succeed in the Champions League
Galliani about Pirlo in Juve: Andrea was laughing like a madman when I called to congratulate him
Villarreal will pay no more than 20 million euros for Valencia captain Parejo and midfielder Coquelin
Thomas Tuchel: Atalanta has a completely unique style. PSG will be difficult not to miss