Cliff Taylor: Three big clashes are coming as the economy reopens this autumn

Working from home, Covid measures and public spending will be the big flashpoints

A big row is coming about what the ‘return to work’ will look like. Photograph: iStock

A big row is coming about what the ‘return to work’ will look like. Photograph: iStock

Positive signals from the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) this week about further reopening have raised hopes for autumn. The extraordinary progress of the vaccine campaign and the high levels of take-up are vital – in the first place to protect health but also to clear the way for a bounce in the economy and the public finances.

We are still looking through a fog at what lies ahead. I was struck this week by two visits to small businesses. One shop had a sign asking customers to wait for staff to come and serve them at the door, apologising for any inconvenience in this “interim period”. And a restaurant owner I spoke to wasn’t starting indoor dining for a few days because he wanted to get all the processes right. “After all, this is probably the way it is going to be in the future,” he added.

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