Workers in England should work from home if possible until April 2021, under the new stricter tiered system.
People living in every tier will be advised to continue working from home.
The recommendation will remain in place well into next year, as it is one of the three key policies in reducing the spread of the virus as highlighted by the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).
The government released its 64 page long Covid-19 winter plan on Monday (23 Nov), which recommended the work from home policy, as well as the closure of pubs which don’t serve food in Tier 2 areas, and the full closure of hospitality venues in Tier 3 areas.
Bigger cities have struggled economically
The economic impact of people working from home has been felt the most in larger cities, where workers who normally commuted in and out of the city would typically spend in shops, restaurants and other businesses.
Central London has been one of the worst-impacted areas of the country, and Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow are among the cities which are having relatively slow recoveries.
Experts have noted that the pandemic has reversed typical trends in city economies. Smaller cities which have increasingly struggled in recent years are now seeing better recoveries than larger, more prosperous cities.
Speaking to the Guardian, director of policy and research at the Centre for Cities, Paul Swinney, said bigger cities have struggled as they rely more on workers, whereas smaller cities tend to generate more income through leisure spending.
Mr Swinney warned that the further delay to a large scale return to the city for most workers could have disastrous impacts on city centre businesses.
He said, “The prospect of them having to hang on to April may mean when city centre workers go back, their favourite restaurant or coffee bar may not be there.”
Throughout most of the pandemic workers have been encouraged to work from home wherever possible, though over the summer there was a campaign in parts of the press and government, criticising people for continuing to work from home.