People in England should work from home “if they can” to reduce social mixing and slow the spread of the virus, Michael Gove has said.
The Cabinet Office Minister said new measures, set to be announced today, will include “shift in emphasis” on advice about going back to the workplace.
Boris Johnson is set to address the nation on Tuesday evening, when he will set out tough new restrictions in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.
He had pushed to get Britons back into workplaces over the summer, in a bid to boost the pandemic-hit economy.
“If it is possible for people to work from home then we would encourage them to do so,” Mr Gove told Sky News.
He added: “It’s important to stress that there are many, many, many roles that can’t be performed from home… there are people in manufacturing, construction, retail and other roles… we recognise it is simply impossible.
“That’s why we have worked to ensure you can have Covid-secure workplaces.
“We need to balance the need for people to work and continue to go to school against taking steps to try and reduce the virus.”
He continued: “If we can encourage people to work from home, we will, but if people need to be in the office, we will work to make it as safe as possible.”
The Prime Minister started encouraging Brits to return to work in July as coronavirus lockdown restrictions were eased.
But, when pressed on BBC Breakfast, Mr Gove said this “messaging” has been ditched by the Government.