Scots told to work from home until middle of January, piling pressure on Boris Johnson amid Omicron spread

Scots told to work from home until middle of January, piling pressure on Boris Johnson amid Omicron spread

February 2, 2022

NICOLA Sturgeon today piled more pressure on Boris Johnson over toughening up Covid restrictions as she ordered Scots to work from home.

The Scottish First Minister said she's extending the shuttering of offices until at least mid-January to fight off the spread of the Omicron variant.

She revealed cases have rocketed by more than 10-fold in the space of a week and there are now 99 recorded infections with the new strain.

It marks an increase of 28 since yesterday. This time last week there were just nine cases in Scotland.

As a result Ms Sturgeon has said that all workplaces should be working from home, even if they have started to make a return to the office.

Her remarks will add to calls from some scientists and opposition politicians for Boris to bring in harsher restrictions for England.

They came just hours after Dominic Raab insisted there's no need to trigger Plan B.

The Deputy PM said measures like vaccine passports and working from home – both in use in Scotland – still aren't needed despite spiralling Omicron cases.

Ms Sturgeon said any workplace that had it's staff working from home during the beginning of the pandemic should do so again.

And the Scottish Government has issued dire warnings there may have to be tighter curbs over the festive period.

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In order to prevent "additional protections", Ms Sturgeon is asking Scots to make that "extra effort" over the next month.

This includes the tighter restrictions on returning to the office, wearing face coverings in indoor public spaces, keeping windows open and ensuring good hand hygiene.

These measures are set to be in place in the middle of January next year.

Ms Sturgeon said: "It is time for all of us to go back to basics and ensure that we are taking all the steps required to minimise the risk of getting or spreading this virus.

"Indeed, it is through heightened compliance with current protections that we will give ourselves the best chance of avoiding any additional protections.

"So I am asking everyone to make an extra effort to do so from now through the festive period and into January.

"Obviously, wear face coverings in indoor public places; ventilate rooms by opening windows; and ensure good hand hygiene.

Race against Omicron

She added: "However, there are two important protections that I want to emphasise particularly strongly today.

"Firstly, working from home.

"We already advise people to work from home where practical.

"Today, I am asking employers to ensure this is happening.

"To be blunt, if you had staff working from home at this start of the pandemic, please now enable them to do so again.

"We are asking you to do this from now until the middle of January when we will review this advice again."

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