Staff shouldn't be pressured to return to workplaces, says Leo Varadkar
Varadkar warned there remains a "high risk of new outbreaks" occurring if large numbers return to the workplace.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has urged employers not to pressure staff to return to workplaces due to a "high risk of new outbreaks".
He issued a statement on Tuesday reminding employers that all staff who can do so, should continue to work from home while current restrictions remain in place.
It read: “This is a significant week in our fight against the pandemic as thousands of construction workers go back to work and all pupils return to school. 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.
“With this increase in movement, employers and their staff should remember there is no change to the official advice to continue to work from home if at all possible.
“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."
Varadkar said there is "clear evidence" that some people are drifting back to their office or workplace, while new data from the CSO this week showed that more people are moving beyond 10km of their homes.
Varadkar added: “I particularly want to remind employers that staff members should not be pressurised to return to work. Daily case numbers remain high, as do the numbers in ICU.
“While the vaccination programme is making great progress, and 20% of adults have received at least one vaccine at this point, we still have a few months to go until everyone has been fully vaccinated.
“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.
"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.”