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Let people continue to work from home, says scientist

People should be allowed to continue working from home rather than being forced back into offices, a scientist advising the government said.

According to Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviors (SPI-B), the number of contacts people have per week has reached the highest number in a year. , which feeds into the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE).

In a statement, the Operational Subgroup of the Pandemic Influenza Scientific Group on Modeling (SPI-MO) said there is still “the potential for another big wave of hospitalizations” as the pandemic continues. .

“There is a clear consensus that high and continuous levels of homework have played a very important role in preventing sustained epidemic growth in recent months,” said SPI-MO.

“It is highly likely that a significant decrease in working from home over the next few months would lead to a rapid increase in hospital admissions.”

When asked if there was a danger the public would not comply if new restrictions were introduced as part of the government’s winter plan, Professor Reicher told Times Radio that many people do not socialize as much as you might think.

He said: “In the last two weeks people have started to mix more. The rate at which we mix, the number of contacts we have per week, has increased to 5.3, the highest in a week. year.

“But when you take a closer look, what you find is that almost all of this is due to the mix of people at work – a 63% increase – and virtually nothing to do with home meetings and socializing. So the problem is not that people choose to party all the time, the problem is that people have no choice because they have to go back to work. “

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