Ministers should do more to get workers back into the office, according to a Daily Mail poll. Voters fear that if staff continue to stay away from the city centers, the UK's economic recovery will be hampered.
The survey, conducted by JL Partners, found that 47 percent would like the government to step up efforts to get employees back to their desks – compared to 22 percent who disagreed.
More than half – 51 percent – think officials should set an example to the rest of the country by returning to their Whitehall offices, compared to 21 percent who didn't.
More than half – 51 percent – believe officials should set an example to the rest of the country by returning to their Whitehall offices. Pictured: Boris Johnson
Meanwhile, a majority (54 percent) said it was important for business to get back to the office. The poll suggests strong public support from ministers to allow the UK to return to work next month when the summer holidays end and schools return.
The government removed the official advice on working from home earlier this month. Efforts to encourage returns to the office appear to have stalled, however, making many city centers look more like ghost towns even during rush hour.
There are concerns that many shops and restaurants that rely on office workers may not survive. Many companies don't plan for workers to return to their offices at least by the end of the year, while companies like Facebook UK and RBS said employees won't return until 2021.
Matt Hancock announced earlier this week that there had been a "relatively low" number of workplace infections in an effort to step up efforts to get more employees back to their desks. Instead, new cases come mostly from home social gatherings, he said.
The health minister said the government had ruled out copying France, making face coverings mandatory in almost all workplaces as it fights a resurgence of coronavirus cases. From the beginning of next month, masks must be worn in all common rooms in French offices and factories if more than one employee is present.
Mr Hancock said similar measures would not be put in place on this side of the channel, adding, "The reason is because the NHS Test and Trace evidence of where people get the disease is that they get it mostly from a household that meets another household. usually in one of their homes.
“And so it is this household transfer that is at the core of the transmission of this virus in this country. The number of people who have been caught in jobs is relatively small. We assume we have evidence of this. & # 39;
Chancellor Rishi Sunak (picture) said: "Nobody is under any illusions that our economy was hit hard by the pandemic – but today's retail sales are a positive sign that the UK is getting back on its feet."
Research this month found that UK office workers returned to their desks much more slowly than workers in France, Germany, Italy or Spain because they continued to work from home after the lockdown.
Only a third (34 percent) of UK employees have returned to offices, while in Europe almost three quarters of employees (68 percent) have returned, according to Morgan Stanley's analysis. In a glimmer of good economic news, retail sales recovered to pre-pandemic levels in July – the first non-essential stores of the month were allowed to reopen.
After a record decline of 18.1 percent in April, sales are 3 percent above the February mark, according to official figures.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Nobody is under any illusions that our economy has been hit hard by the pandemic – but today's retail sales are a positive sign that the UK is getting back on its feet."
However, the Bureau of National Statistics said there was a clear split on the horizon as grocery and online retailers beat February sales while non-food companies didn't. According to official data, fashion store sales were "hardest hit during the pandemic," still 25.7 percent lower than in February.
Now online sales are still more than 50 percent higher than before the crisis. The online boom has raised concerns about the future of the high street as a number of retailers including Boots, Marks & Spencer, Pret A Manger and WH Smith announced brutal job cuts.
Helen Dickinson, executive director of the British Retail Consortium, warned of the "survival of many retail companies". "The latest ONS sales results hide a crisis in some parts of the retail industry," she said.
Separate figures from HM Revenue & Customs also showed that the property market had rebounded over the past month. Around 70,710 homes were sold in July, an increase of 14.5 percent per month.
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