Commuters packed onto busy London Underground trains this morning as Boris Johnson faced a fierce battle with union leaders who have frustrated his drive to get Britain back to work.

The Prime Minister has scrapped all official guidelines directing people to work at home in an effort to restore the country’s “complete normality”.

He said he wanted civil servants to set an example by returning to the office – and yesterday ordered Cabinet ministers to ensure their Whitehall staff resumed ‘normal working patterns’ as soon as possible. 

However, the unions rejected Mr Johnson’s demands and called them ‘insulting’. They also claimed that Johnson’s move to get workers back on their desks was a’reckless’ act.

However, photographs taken at the start of the morning rush-hour today at about 7am showed the Piccadilly line in London looking busy for the time of day, with many commuters forced to stand because no seats were left. 

Commuters were also affected by minor delays along the Piccadilly Line between Acton Town, Heathrow and Northfields. A track fault at Northfields was repaired. A signal problem at Wembley Park caused delays to the Metropolitan Line. 

Commuters travel on the Piccadilly line through Holborn station in Central London at about 7am this morning

Commuters ride the Piccadilly through Holborn station, Central London. This is around 7 a.m.

Commuters wait for a Piccadilly line train at King's Cross St Pancras station on the London Underground at about 7am today

Commuters wait at King’s Cross St Pancras Station on the London Underground for a Piccadilly train. This is around 7:15 AM today.

Commuters travel on the Piccadilly line through Central London during the morning rush hour at about 7am today

Commuters commute on the Piccadilly Line through Central London in the morning rush hour, which is around 7am today

Commuters walk along a passageway at King's Cross St Pancras station on the London Underground at about 7am today

Commuters stroll along a passageway near King’s Cross St Pancras Station on the London Underground around 7:15 AM today

Commuters travel on the Piccadilly line through Holborn station in Central London at about 7am this morning

Commuters ride the Piccadilly through Holborn station, Central London. This is around 7:15 am this morning

Commuters sit on the Piccadilly line this morning as they travel through Central London on their way to work at about 7am

Commuters sat on the Piccadilly railway this morning while they traveled through Central London for their commute to work.

Data published by Transport for London shows commuter traffic over the past two years (January 2020 to 2022). It reveals the number of workers travelling by bus or Tube, and commuter footfall across the capital, remains way down on pre-Covid

Transport for London has published data showing commuter traffic for the last two years, from January 2020 to February 2022. The data revealed that the commuter population in the capital remains lower than pre-Covid.

Public and Commercial Services (PCS), which represents civil servants and public sector workers, warns against a rush to return to work.

The FDA union, which represents senior civil servants, also reacted angrily, saying the world of work had ‘changed for good’ – despite the easing of the Covid threat.

Now, what’s the future? When will it be here? Boris Johnson, your guide to post-curb rules. He announces that Covid Plan B is ending


Work from home: On Wednesday, the Prime Minister stated that no one is being asked to work remotely by Government. He asked people to contact their employers regarding arrangements for returning home to work.

MASKES IN SCHOOLS Secondary school students will no longer be required to cover their faces in class from yesterday. Next Thursday, January 27, will be the last day that masks are required in communal spaces and corridors.


MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES The Government won’t legally require that you cover your face in public places or shops starting next Thursday. However, they insist that masks must be worn in enclosed areas and places where there is a possibility of people coming into contact with them. According to the Prime Minister, this means that the Government would trust the British people’s judgment and will not criminalize those who don’t wear one.

COVID Passports: From next Thursday, no need to show proof of vaccinations or have a negative result from a previous test in order to be allowed into nightclubs or large venues. Businesses can still use the NHS Covid Pass, however.


TRAVEL: Soon, an announcement will be made about the removal of the requirement that fully-vaccinated travelers must take a Covid exam upon returning to England. No.10 stated that rules will be reviewed at the beginning of January.

CARE HOMES In the coming days, plans to relax restrictions on visits to care homes will be made public. At the moment, residents living in care homes can only visit for up to 28 consecutive days after a Covid outbreak.


SELF-ISOLATION: Boris Johnson stated that he expects not to renew Covid’s legal obligation to self-isolate from Covid after the March 24 deadline. This could occur even sooner, depending on the available data. This guidance will replace the legal requirement and encourage people infected by the virus to consider others.


FREE TEST: By July, free Covid lateral flow testing will be discontinued. People will be pointed towards an online ordering system to purchase the tests, which cost £30 for a pack of seven.

The Cabinet Office has refused to put a target date on when ministers want to see a full return of Whitehall staff – leading to fears that many could stay working from home for weeks.

According to one source, workers will return in stages rather than in large numbers. 

Tory MPs and business leaders demanded that Mr Johnson face down the unions – saying failure to act would be disastrous for the economy, and particularly city centres.

A string of events took place yesterday

As a Tory MP, Mr Johnson was still facing claims about the “Partygate” row. However, he made remarkable allegations of being ‘blackmailed’ by Conservative whips.

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, former Tory leader, said that it was selfish of unions not to support continued home work because businesses in town centres such as sandwiches shops and pubs will close if employees don’t return to their desks.

‘When they eventually go back to their office there won’t be anywhere to get a sandwich from or sit down in a pub – they’ll all close,’ he said. 

“It is selfish and self-centered to continue hybrid work. Unions would pay you for no work. But the truth is, we should all be returning to our offices.

David Jones, former Tory minister was clear: “It is time to go back to normal living.” This includes going back to work, as it is much more healthy than staying at home.

People benefit greatly from having colleagues around them. This is good for your mental health, and it also aids in professional development. It is also important to bring back vibrancy in urban centers, which will help our economy grow.

Lord Rose, former chairman of Marks & Spencer, told LBC Radio he had been calling for a return to the office for months, adding: ‘I cannot believe that we’ve got a nation sitting at home now cowed by this Government, because they’re fearful of this virus – which has been unpleasant, it has killed a lot of people – but it is something we now have to live with.’

Johnson’s official spokesperson said that Johnson had instructed ministers to make sure their offices were ready for staff returning home. 

The Daily Mail was able to contact individual departments and they refused to give any information about when staff were expected to return. 

The officials also declined to disclose the current percentage of employees in the office.

Dave Penman was the FDA’s general secretary. He said that it was an insult to try to force officials back into the office. 

“The notion that civil servants will be forced back in to office somehow shows a lead to other parts of the economy is insulting to businesses that have taken decisions to improve their profitability and efficiency.

According to the PCS union, there should be no rush or recklessness in increasing workplace numbers. A properly-planned approach is needed that allows both the employer and union to reach safe agreements.

One minister’s aide said that there are not enough officials at the office. 

Javid acknowledged that his department couldn’t accommodate all staff because of insufficient space.

After Mr Johnson abandoned work-from-home guidance, business leaders are calling their staff back to office yesterday. 

Large banks, advertising firms and insurers announced plans to return to the office – although most said flexible working arrangements would remain in place. 

Commuters make their way down an escalator on the London Underground network at about 7am this morning

Commuters walk down the London Underground network’s escalator at 7:01 AM this morning.

Commuters sit on the Piccadilly line this morning as they travel through Central London on their way to work at about 7am

Commuters sat on the Piccadilly railway this morning while they traveled through Central London for their commute to work.

KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm, stated it was happy to see the Government’s guidance end and asked staff from England to visit the office at most two days per week. 

Sajid Javid says no more economic shutdowns

Sajid Javid yesterday stated that Britain shouldn’t shut down its economy once more, even though Covid still claims thousands of lives each year.

While the UK has to learn to live with Covid, according to Health Secretary, high jab rates as well as improved medical treatment mean the threat to your life is much lower now than it was when it emerged.

Javid explained that while you may lose around 20,000 lives in an epidemic of flu, it doesn’t mean we have to shut down all our country. Covid won’t disappear… “I think that we are leading Europe through the transition from pandemics to endemics.”

Clive Dix, former chairman of the Vaccines Taskforce, backed the call, saying Covid was now a ‘mild disease’ for most – if they have been jabbed.

Sources within government said that ministers are still working out a long-term plan to ‘live with Covid’.

Although self-isolation rules are set to expire in March 24 for persons with the virus, Prime Minister David Cameron said that this week he hopes he can bring it forward.

Citi, an investment bank sent staff a note highlighting the advantages of office work. It also stated that employees are better able to create the energy and collaboration spirit it thrives upon.

The company advised workers that they should return to their desks at least three times per week and take regular tests.

HSBC claimed that staff began returning to their offices yesterday. Standard Chartered requested employees return from Monday. 

Citigroup and Goldman Sachs both stated that they plan to return to office work.

Havas, an advertising agency in France with over 11,500 employees, stated to the BBC that it will ‘fully reopen” its London headquarters starting Monday. 

Chris Hirst from Havas stated that although many employees are eager to go back, some are nervous. 

“We will talk to these people individually, and find solutions that work best for them. Zurich, an insurance company said it was happy to see its employees back. However, most staff would remain on a mix basis.

These announcements were made by hospitality executives who highlighted the detrimental effects that working at home has on shops, restaurants and cafes in city centres. 

Sacha Lord, Greater Manchester’s nighttime economic adviser said that high streets lack the necessary footfall.

UKHospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls stressed that communities are essential for the success of this sector.

“The elimination of the working from home guidance is huge for hospitality operators in England, as they began 2022 low in cash, after a second cancelled Christmas, in deep debt after two years’ of restricted trading and faced soaring expenses on so many fronts.