Forcing civil servants back to the office is the opposite of ‘living with the virus’

“This blanket edict comes in direct contradiction to a report from the Institute for Government think tank. Reducing hybrid working opportunities, it suggests, will mean the government struggles to achieve its goals of competing with the private sector to recruit its preferred candidates for civil service positions, relocating centres of civil service away from the capital and reducing the size of its estate.

Perhaps more pertinently, encouraging people unnecessarily into crowded work environments is not a good strategy for controlling Covid transmission, especially when rates are already extremely high, as they are now. The phrase “learning to live with Covid”, as used by Rees-Mogg, has become a byword among government ministers for removing all Covid mitigations and returning to pre-pandemic practices. But things are not the same as they were before.”

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