May 27, 2023

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Germany to end Work from Home policy by June end

Germany has lifted lockdown measures in the last six weeks as infections fell.

Companies have now decided not to allow working from home because of the coronavirus pandemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

After first introducing a working from home obligation in January, the measure was anchored in “emergency brake” legislation that allows the government to impose lockdown measures if infections rise beyond certain thresholds.

As covid infection numbers are sinking, the home office rule does not need to be extended beyond June.

“The emergency brake will not be extended at this time because we have a favorable situation at the moment,” Helge Braun, Merkel’s chief of staff, told the Wirtschafts Woche.

It might have to be reimposed in the autumn, depending on the progress of vaccinations and the spread of new variants, he said.

At the height of the third wave of the pandemic in March, almost a third of employees in Germany were working from home at least some of the time, but that had fallen to 31% in May, according to the Ifo economic institute.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose by 1,455 to 3,717,625 on Wednesday, less than half the increase of a week ago. The death toll rose by 137 to 90,074.

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