Boris Johnson has said 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 the government will confirm the relaxation of limits on weddings by the end of this month, so people can have larger ceremonies from June 21.
Meanwhile wearing masks in shops and offices will reportedly be dropped from that date, along with social distancing.
Officials are believed to be in favour of the increased freedoms proposed by the National Economy Recovery Taskforce.
The positive messages came after the premier batted away calls for a dramatic acceleration of the lockdown exit strategy.
He announced earlier this week easing 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.
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 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.
Mr 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
Meanwhile plans to scrap social distancing and wearing masks in shops and offices are reportedly set to be brought in on June 21.
The National Economy Recovery Taskforce has the backing of officials, according to the Sun.
A source told the newspaper: ‘The current thinking points to social distancing going and mask wearing only in limited settings like buses, trains and the Tube.
‘Obviously this is all dependent on final sign-off but the data is looking good and the political will is there for a proper lift-off.’
The National Economy Recovery Taskforce has reportedly held talks over the plans regarding ‘non-pharmaceutical interventions’.
Government scientists are said to be in favour of the proposals as the virus ebbs away while the vaccine drive booms.
Source: Daily Mail UK