Prime minister Boris Johnson announced working from home guidance will be relaxed from 1 August in a move that could provide a much-needed boost for contract caterers and city centre businesses.
In a press conference today, which also saw the prime minister set out plans to give local authorities new enforcement powers, Johnson said: "From 1 August we will update our advice on going to work. Instead of government telling people to work from home, we're going to give employers more discretion and ask them to make decisions about how their staff can work safely."
Bartlett Mitchell founder Wendy Bartlett welcomed the news and said that the industry had worked hard to ensure people could be welcomed back to the workplace safely.
She added: "With the right safety measures in place, we believe it's important that we all do what we can to ensure that the UK's economic engine gets going again. We know that life will not go back to before, however, it's also unsustainable as it is now.
"We've all been working closely with clients to ensure that appropriate measures are in place so this announcement will encourage people to head back to the workplace and get our sector moving again."
CH&Co chief operating officer Allister Richards said that the business was delighted that people were being encouraged to return to their workplaces.
"This is another significant step to the recovery and rebuild of the hospitality industry and our business, and we wholeheartedly welcome this move," he added.
"The safety of our people and our customers is our priority and our teams have been working hard to ensure our sites can reopen safely, in line with the physical distancing requirements and government guidance, and our guests can return with confidence.
"We very much look forward to welcoming people back to enjoy good food with us again soon."
Kay Buxton, chief executive of Marble Arch London BID, said: "Hospitality businesses in the Marble Arch and Edgware Road area will welcome the news that back to work and public transport guidance has changed and will encourage more people to travel back to central London and use their services again.
"We as a BID will be working with businesses and local authorities, as well as neighbouring London BIDs, to help prepare the area for the increased number of visitors to the area, and we hope that the prime minister's announcement is a major step forward to the recovery of central London's economy."
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