12/05/2021 14:43 BST | Updated 12/05/2021 14:44 BST

Boris Johnson Says He 'Intends' To Lift Work From Home Order On June 21

The prime minister said the guidance would change assuming the roadmap remained "on track".

House of Commons - PA Images via Getty Images

Boris Johnson has said he intends to lift the work from home order on June 21.

Under England’s coronavirus lockdown, people have been told to work from home unless they are unable to do so, in order to stop the spread of the disease.

Speaking in the Commons on Wednesday, the prime minister said it was his “intention” to scrap that guidance when the final stage of the unlocking roadmap was reached “provided we stay on track”.

“I want to be sure people will wait until we are able to say that with more clarity a bit later on,” he added. “We must be guided by what is happening with the pandemic.”

He was responding to Conservative MP Felicity Buchan, who warned the economy in central London “is hurting” due to the lack of commuters.

June 21 is the date by which the majority of coronavirus restrictions are due to be lifted.

The third stage of the easing will happen on Monday May 17, when indoor hospitality will be allowed to reopen, international travel will be permitted and friends and family will no longer be told not to hug each other.

It came as Johnson announced the government will set up an independent public inquiry with statutory powers into the handling of the pandemic.

He told MPs the inquiry, which was welcomed by some bereaved families, will begin in spring 2022 and will place “the state’s actions under the microscope”.

The inquiry will be able to take oral evidence under oath, he said, adding that the state has an obligation “to learn every lesson for the future”.

Downing Street declined to say whether the public inquiry will report back before the next general election - which could be as early as 2023.

No.10 also admitted the government has also conducted a secret “lessons learned” review on the Covid pandemic but is refusing to publish it.

It comes as a damning report from the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO), said a quicker international response could have stopped the 2019 Covid outbreak in China becoming a global catastrophe.