Should you go back to work? Derbyshire health chief warns against it amid fears of spike in cases among younger people

Derbyshire’s director of public health has warned people to avoid going back into the workplace until at least June 21 if they can.

Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:20 pm
Updated Friday, 7th May 2021, 12:21 pm

Dean Wallace says everyone who can work from home should continue to do so, and has issued a reminder to residents that Covid-19 ‘has not gone away’.

Mr Wallace said: “We would urge everyone to follow the current government guidelines which are that anyone who can work from home should work from home until June 21 at the earliest.

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Derbyshire DPH Dean Wallace has warned against any rush back to the office before June.

“These rules are laid out as part of the Government’s four-step roadmap toward lifting lockdown.

“We are all looking forward to more freedoms but it’s important to remember that Covid-19 has not gone away and there are things we can all do to help reduce the risk of catching Covid-19 and help keep everyone safe.

“We need to carry on doing what we’re doing, working from home if we can, regular handwashing, wearing face coverings if we can, keeping your distance from others and making sure there is plenty of fresh air around you.

“We’re doing so well with the vaccination programme here and I’d urge everyone to take up their opportunity to get their vaccine when they are offered it,” the director of public health added.

Mr Wallace’s counterpart in Sheffield, Greg Fell, has said he expects to see ‘a rise in rates in the under 45s and the under 35s’.

He said this week: “If you don’t need to be in work, then you don’t need to be in work. We will see workplace outbreaks and that will become an issue for business continuity for all of our workplaces.”

Many businesses have been working to the date of June 21 as a date for more people to return to offices, as that is when the government hopes to end all social distancing restrictions.

When the rules allow it, the government says it wants to help companies which have suffered during lockdown, particularly those in city and town centres which rely on office workers.

It's also keen to cut the cost of paying furloughed staff by encouraging businesses to reopen. More than £100bn has already been spent on support for jobs.

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