Workers should not be pressured to return to the office.
That’s according to the Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, who reminded employers that there is “no change to the official advice to continue to work from home if at all possible.”
With the 5km travel restriction now lifted, more construction workers returning to sites and students back in classrooms, this is Ireland’s busiest week of activity so far in 2021.
However, daily cases of coronavirus remain high, with 394 additional cases confirmed in the past 24 hours, 227 people hospitalised and 50 people in ICU and experts have warned that a damaging fourth wave of the virus is possible.
The Tánaiste urged the public to stick with the rules.
Working from home has played a huge part in containing the virus. It’s still to soon to go back to the office if you can avoid it at all. Nobody should be pressurised into doing so. I’m asking all everyone who can work from home, to continue to do so.
— Leo Varadkar (@LeoVaradkar) April 13, 2021
“The easing of some restrictions, such as allowing two households to meet outdoors for social or leisure purposes and the end of the 5km rule should lift everyone’s spirits in this long battle,” he said in a statement.
“With daily new cases still in the mid-hundreds, there remains a high risk of new outbreaks occurring if large numbers of people return to the workplace.
The Tánaiste said there is “clear evidence that some people are drifting back to the office or the workplace” adding that new data from the CSO this week shows that more people are moving beyond 10km of their homes.
“My message to everyone is that working from home has played a huge part in containing Covid-19. It will be one of the most effective tools as we enter the next stage,” he said.
“I know a lot of people are tired of working from home and are keen to see colleagues again, but we have to stick with this for a few more months. When we go back to the office, we want it to be in a safe and sustainable way. We are just not at that point yet.”