Boris Johnson says workers 'need to have the confidence' to return to workplaces in England

6 August 2020, 16:49

Boris Johnson has said he wants workers in England to start returning to workplaces
Boris Johnson has said he wants workers in England to start returning to workplaces. Picture: PA Images
Ewan Quayle

By Ewan Quayle

People need to have the confidence to go back to workplaces to help the country's economic recovery, Boris Johnson has said.

The Prime Minister wants workers to return to their offices "in a Covid-secure way" to help get the economy moving once again, with many shops and restaurants who rely on nearby workplaces struggling to return to normal customer levels.

Earlier this week, the Government urged employees in England to return to work after several months of working from home during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.

However, reports suggest that most employees are continuing to work remotely and are fearful about returning to a normal working life.

During a visit to a housing development in Warrington, the Prime Minister told reporters there were "real signs of strength in the UK economy" despite warnings over the UK's economic decline.

"Unquestionably it will require people to have the confidence to go back to work in a Covid-secure way," he said.

"It's also very, very important that we get all the schools back in September, on 1 September get all the pupils back into their schools.

"That will be also very, very important for getting our economy overall moving again."

Earlier on Thursday, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick urged people to "get out" and support local businesses in the cities if they want to prevent further job losses.

The Prime Minister urged people to gain the confidence to return to workplaces
The Prime Minister urged people to gain the confidence to return to workplaces. Picture: PA Images

Asked whether he was concerned that London is being "hollowed out" on LBC, he said: "Well I am very concerned about London and city centres more generally.

"You are seeing people starting to go back into town centres and obviously using local shops in villages and rural areas, but many of our city centres are very quiet and we need to get back into them, using the Chancellor's Eat Out To Help Out scheme, going to visit the shops safely, it can be done.

"Shops and the hospitality industry are going to great lengths to make sure that they're following social distancing guidelines and those of us that can do so need to get out and support them now or else we will see, I'm afraid, further job losses and a loss of some of those fantastic businesses that we see in our cities."

A Bank of England forecast released on Thursday revealed a shocking prediction of 7.5% unemployment - the worst since the financial crash in 2008 - and the sharpest economic decline in at least 100 years.