So is that it, then? Is Covid behind us for all practical purposes in England, no masks, no working from home, no vaccination passes, all going or gone? Or, in nearly the words of Mark Twain, are reports of the death of Plan B greatly exaggerated?
Obviously, no one would suggest any connection between this week’s Government’s announcement of the end of Plan B restrictions when there are still 100,000 reasons a day to hesitate on the one hand and Downing Street’s desperate need for some good news on the other, so let us discount any political influence in this right now, yes? However, the ending of Plan B has had a pretty mixed reception. Many senior medical advisers are audibly sucking their teeth over this being a bit early and the Government’s SAGE panel is quite clear that WFH remains the most effective means of blocking transmission, while City centre coffee shops and Dubai hoteliers are predictably thrilled.
The announcement obviously has some ramifications for employers, but while obvious in principle they are not so clear on the ground, and it does not provide answers to many of the practical questions which will now arise. Boris advises employees to “start talking to their employers about the return” but we don’t recommend that employers wait for their staff to approach them on this, not least because for the most part they just won’t. Instead businesses should be considering their positions in advance so that they can be on the front foot in what happens next. Here are some starters: