The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

PM Tightens Restrictions and Re-Prioritises Working From Home

PM Tightens Restrictions and Re-Prioritises Working From Home
24 September 2020

In an address to MPs today, Boris Johnson has tightened COVID-19 restrictions in England, calling on people to work from home where possible and pausing plans for sporting events and conferences.

In light of the rising number of coronavirus cases, and the COVID alert level being upgraded from three to four, the UK government has made several changes today. The new measures are expected to last for up to six months.


"I am sorry to say that – as in Spain and France and many other countries – we have reached a perilous turning point. A month ago, on average around a thousand people across the UK were testing positive for coronavirus every day. The latest figure has almost quadrupled to 3,929."

–Boris Johnson

Prime Minister, United Kingdom


Restaurant Curfews, Working from Home and no Conferencing Events


From Thursday (24 September 2020), pubs and restaurants in England will have a 10 pm curfew, with table service only provided. Staff in the hospitality and retail sectors will need to wear face coverings, as will passengers in taxis.

Weddings will not only be permitted to go ahead with fifteen guests, a reduction on the previously allowed thirty.

When it comes to indoor team sports, the new rule of six will apply, and plans to return audiences to sporting events and the restart of conferencing events in October have also been paused.

Employees are once again being encouraged to work from home where they possibly can.


"A Window of Opportunity" for Business Leaders?



“Whilst these are difficult circumstances, we must attempt to find positives. Business leaders should use this window of opportunity to continue reviewing their real estate and office processes to add further layers of reassurance to their employees."

– Robin Davies

Business Development Director, Freespace


Robin Davies of workplace technology company, Freespace, believes business leaders should use this window of opportunity to continue their review of real estate and office processes to add further layers of reassurance to their employees.

He commented to ThisWeekinFM: “Whilst these are difficult circumstances, we must attempt to find positives. Business leaders should use this window of opportunity to continue reviewing their real estate and office processes to add further layers of reassurance to their employees.

"If the pandemic has taught us one thing it’s that businesses are taking more of a vested interest in their employees’ health and wellbeing, and that can only be a good thing. Clearly, many workers across the country are anxious about returning to work. They are looking to their employers to support new ways of hybrid working that support both working from home and the office. Perceptions of an employer are greatly influenced by the trust and commitment they place in new hybrid working models and how proactively they plan to support working from home in the future.

"COVID-19 has become the opportunity for companies to prove that they value the health of their staff in ways that go well beyond box-ticking exercises. We have seen a real divergence in responses to COVID-19 with some merely seeking to meet government guidelines on social distancing in the workplace with others taking a much more proactive stance to the mental and physical health of their people.


Robin Davies

Picture: a photograph of Robin Davies

“Technology is providing a lot of answers during these challenging times. Forward-thinking businesses have been leveraging workplace technology to support everything from social distancing and occupancy-based cleaning to compliance and planning to reassure their staff that they are taking COVID-19 restrictions seriously.

"We must champion and support the tech sector as it navigates the months ahead as we collectively step up the coronavirus recovery plans. It has a vital role to play in supporting the workforce not just in the office, but at home too. These restrictions may seem like a step backwards. But all it does is give us room for a running start to return to the office when it is safe to do so.”

Picture: a graphic of a virus spore

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 24 September 2020


Related Articles

The Rule of Six – Will it Affect Employee Confidence When Returning to Work?

Boris’ new rule of six doesn’t apply to workplaces, but how might the tightening of lockdown measures affect general confidence when returning to...

 Read Full Article
Venues Face Fines of up to £4K if Rule of Six is Not Enforced

Leisure and hospitality venues in England are legally required to enforce the rule of six from today, or risk a fine of up to £4,000. Designated venues will also...

 Read Full Article
New Grants Available for Businesses Affected By Local Lockdowns

Ministers have announced that businesses in England that are required to shut because of local interventions will now be able to claim up to £1,500 per property...

 Read Full Article
Freedom Day – How Do You Feel About Returning to The Office?

For some, Freedom Day marks a much-awaited return to some of our pre-pandemic habits, including working at the office instead of at home. But is everyone keen to come...

 Read Full Article
UK Workers Unsure on Returning to Office Without Vaccine

Around half of UK office workers feel confident about returning to work without a fully vaccinated workplace. Research shows that 80 per cent of UK office...

 Read Full Article
7 Ways to Improve Office Hygiene and Cleanliness 

With businesses already putting plans in place to get people back into the office, ensuring good hygiene practices is paramount in preventing any spread of coronavirus in...

 Read Full Article
Casella Launches Social Distancing Smart Tags for Workers

A smart-monitoring technology company has launched a wearable smart tag designed to make social distancing easier. The body-worn Orbi-Trace smart tag gives the...

 Read Full Article
Indoor Air Quality Surveys Needed Before Reopening Buildings

Bureau Veritas is stressing the need to carry out indoor air quality surveys, swab-sampling programs and quantification of fresh air assessments, to ensure premises...

 Read Full Article
Contractual Disputes – How to Deal with COVID-19 Litigation 

As the UK goes in and out of lockdown, the legal system is braced for a sharp increase in contractual disputes. So much so, that the Cabinet Office has expressed concern,...

 Read Full Article
HSE COVID-Secure Spot Checks Continue Throughout UK

As Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire move into tier three of lockdown, the Health and Safety Executive will continue to operate safety inspections to check for...

 Read Full Article