British Business Secretary Kwasi Quarting said Monday (August 9th) that flexible working in the UK “is here to stay”.
The minister said during an interview with BBC Radio 4.
“I don’t think it makes sense to have a government dictating exactly how many hours they will spend in the office and how many hours they will spend at home,” the official explained.
Quarting’s comments came as the British government tries to persuade people to return to their offices, which are often located in city centers and which rely on commutes to boost their local economies.
However, people did not return in large enough numbers for some government figures. Some politicians have issued increasingly forceful comments to local media, proposing anything from cutting the wages of workers who do not return to their jobs, to suggesting that those who work from home should not be promoted.
As for officials at the Department of Business, Quarting said he would encourage them to come back, “but of course, there will be a degree of flexibility.”
As flexible working becomes the new normal, so has medical masks, at least in Scotland.
John Sweeney, the Scottish Deputy Prime Minister and minister for coronavirus strategy, told the BBC on Monday that the wearing of masks could continue throughout the winter.
“We still have measures in place to provide protection, for example through the use of face masks, which we see as a major obstacle to the spread of the virus,” Sweeney told BBC Radio Scotland.
“When I traveled to Asia, there was a common use of the face covering by people to protect others and protect themselves, and that became part of the cultural activity of certain countries,” the official said.
“I don’t know if that will happen here, but some people will feel more confident as a result of wearing face masks. But certainly during the winter, I expect face masks to remain an important part of our lives,” he added.
British government data released on Monday recorded 25,161 cases across the UK in the past 24 hours. This brings the total number to more than six million. Another 37 deaths from the virus were also reported, bringing the total deaths to 130,357.
See also: The entry into force of the Health Permit against COVID-19 in France.
* Juan Felipe Vélez Rojas contributed to this note.
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