Michael Gove: Workplaces are safer but we need to 'restrain' social mixing

22 September 2020, 07:35 | Updated: 22 September 2020, 08:57

Michael Gove said people should work from home if they can do so
Michael Gove said people should work from home if they can do so. Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Michael Gove has said people in England can expect a change in policy on working from home when Boris Johnson updates the nation later tonight on the Covid-19 response.

Mr Gove said there was going to be a "shift in emphasis" on the Government's advice about working from home, telling Sky News: "If it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so."

He added that it was not a case of "revisiting the days at the beginning of our response to this virus" as "workplaces are safer", adding: "But one of the risks that we have to face is that social mixing overall contributes to the spread of the virus.

"So as much as we can restrain that as possible at this stage, the better for all of us and for public health."

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Read more: What time is Boris Johnson's speech today?

It has already been reported that the Prime Minister is expected to tell people to work from home if it does not impede them from being able to do their job properly.

Mr Gove said the Government was taking "reluctant steps" with the new coronavirus measures, but added that they are "absolutely necessary".

"There will be more details that the Prime Minister will spell out, and again, one of the points that he'll make is that no one wants to do these things, no one wants to take these steps," he told Sky News.

"They are reluctant steps that we're taking, but they are absolutely necessary.

"Because as we were reminded yesterday, and as you've been reporting, the rate of infection is increasing, the number of people going to hospital is increasing, and therefore we need to act."

This story is being updated