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Tue, 22 September 2020

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Boris Johnson to hold first in-person Cabinet since March to set example for Brits to head back to the office

Boris Johnson to hold first in-person Cabinet since March to set example for Brits to head back to the office

Boris Johnson hasn't had an in-person Cabinet meeting since 17 March (PA)

2 min read

Boris Johnson is to host the first Cabinet meeting with his ministers sat around the same table for four months as he tries to encourage more Brits back into the office.

After shifting the Government's messaging from asking people to work from home where possible during the pandemic to going back to their workplaces if they can, the Prime Minister is himself looking to set an example.

His official spokesman said the meeting will be held in the Foreign Office rather than Downing Street so they can hold talks in-person but still abide by the rules on social distancing.

Mr Johnson is said to believe it is “right for the Cabinet to come together and have a face-to-face meeting” for the first time since 17 March.

The PM and ministers are set to make use of the vast Locarno Suite, which is often used for large dinners with visiting dignitaries and summits with world leaders.

The spokesman said: “It's a large room that's being chosen.

"It will be properly ventilated and in terms of the steps which are being taken there will be ready supply of hand sanitiser and members of the Cabinet will have individual water jugs and glasses.

“And they will be socially distanced, so that will be to a minimum of one metre.”

But the PM and his senior team are not expected to don face coverings, despite the guidance on masks changing this week.

As the country went into lockdown the Cabinet stopped meeting inside Number 10 and began dialling in to their weekly meetings via video-conference.

On whether the move back to a physical instead of virtual meeting was to try and set an example, Mr Johnson’s spokesman said: "As we move forward with the coronavirus recovery, as more people return to work in person, the Prime Minister felt it was right for the Cabinet to come together and have a face-to-face meeting.”

Asked if there was still the option to dial in remotely, he added: “All members of the Cabinet have been invited to meet in-person tomorrow. I’m not aware of anyone not doing so."

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