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Keep Working From Home After Lockdown Lifts, U.K. Scientists Say

People should still work from home if they can even after the coronavirus lockdown is lifted in June, U.K. government scientists believe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the government remains on course to lift all legal limits on social contact on June 21 after a dramatic fall in cases in recent months, but scientists are cautioning against a rush back to the office.

The concern is that encouraging people back to work would risk a resurgence in the virus at a time when many countries around the world are still battling dangerous levels of infections.That warning is likely to trigger considerable debate ahead of the final decision to lift restrictions, especially if Britain still has low infection rates and if the vaccine rollout is on course to reach all adults by the end of July.

The Office for National Statistics said Friday it estimates that one in 1,180 people in England had Covid-19 in the week to May 2, down from one in 1,010 the week before.

More than two thirds of the adult population have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Still, there are fears over the potential emergence of a new variant of the virus that could knock this progress off course.

Public Health England said Friday that a virus mutation first detected in India has been reclassified as a “variant of concern,” with surge testing being carried out in London and parts of northwest England.

Evidence suggests the variant spreads just as fast as the so-called Kent variant, but it is not yet clear whether it causes more severe disease or will be resistant to vaccines, PHE said in an emailed statement.

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