Sheffield city centre workplace activity down by almost 30 per cent as people told to work from home

The level of decline in Sheffield workers going into the office following recent Government guidance on home-working to tackle the Omicron variant of Covid-19 has been revealed.

Wednesday, 29th December 2021, 12:59 pm
Throughout December, Sheffield City Centre was roughly 30 percent quieter than average pre-pandemic levels as workers followed work from home advice.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced new coronavirus restrictions from December 13 following the spread of the Omicron variant – including advising those who can work from home to do so.

The most recent Google location data shows activity in workplaces in Sheffield in the working week to December 17 was 29.4 per cent lower than during a five-week baseline period than that recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic. This was down from 26 per cent below normal levels in the five days to December 10.

A University of Sheffield study also recently found that the shift towards homeworking and the expected exodus of businesses from urban centres could cost city centres across the UK £3 billion in 2022.

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

Sign up to our public interest bulletins - get the latest news on the Coronavirus

More than one million Covid-19 vaccinations have been administered in Sheffield since the vaccine rollout began.

A Confederation of British Industry spokesman said: “Some economic activity is displaced to local areas, but it also leaves our town and city centres under real strain for retailers and hospitality.

“With the push for a booster rollout by the end of the year, the Government should use the January 5 review to identify a new regime drawing on testing, Covid-secure workplaces and antivirals, to outline its intention for ending the push to work from home."

The Plan B measures for England include the wider wearing of face masks, the mandatory use of Covid passes for access to large venues, and a return to working from home where possible.

However, the government has announced that they would not impose further restrictions before the new year and would re-evaluate the situation in January.

The most recent complete government data for Sheffield shows that 835 cases of Covid-19 were reported on December 23, and there have been at least two deaths within 28 days of a positive test between December 23-27.

A total of 1,350 people have now died in Sheffield within 28 days of a positive Covid-19 test since the start of the pandemic.

Over one million vaccines have been given in Sheffield over the course of the pandemic, and as of December 27, some 267,671 Sheffielders have had their booster or third vaccination.

A new walk in vaccination clinic has also opened at Nunnery Square Park and Ride and will operate from 8.00am-3.30pm until New Year’s Eve.