AND SO to this week’s much vaunted Freedom Day, presciently marked by English Heritage pulling the live feed of the Summer Solstice sunrise.

The end of lockdown has been delayed by the arrival of the Delta variant, as the Indian variant is now called.

Last week, Salisbury MP and minister John Glen wrote that the government had done everything it could, meeting and exceeding all the tests ‘that lie within human control’.

That summary does, however, overlook the tens of thousands of people who were allowed to fly into the country from India in April, at the same time as Pakistan and Bangladesh were red-listed for foreign travel.

Why was the route left open?

Possibly it may have had something to do with a planned trade mission, spearheaded by the Prime Minister, aimed at securing a post-Brexit trade deal.

That trip wasn’t cancelled until 19 April, with India added to the red list for travel a few days later.

Such trade meetings, of course, could have been carried out online.

Over the last fifteen months, the world of work has changed, potentially permanently, with many people finding that working from home was not only possible, but also offered them a better quality of life.

It seems slightly strange that perhaps the most famous work from homer in the country remains so averse to the idea.

Boris Johnson is one of those who seems convinced that working from home is not a good idea.

Back in August last year, the government developed a somewhat aggressive campaign to get people to return to the office: ‘Go back to work or risk losing your job’ was the Daily Telegraph’s headline.

He’s not alone in this thinking.

David Solomon, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, has described home working as an ‘aberration that we’re going to correct as soon as possible’.

On the other side of the political spectrum, firms in Russia are encouraging office work by cutting the pay of those preferring to work at home.

According to a Times article last week, Johnson belief stems from the ‘theory of propinquity’: ‘the idea that people want to be around others and that is what will naturally happen’.

The idea originates from a study by three psychologists, Leon Festinger, Kurt Back and Stanley Schachter back in the 1940s: at a time when the modern-day office, let alone remote working and Zoom meetings, were the stuff of science fiction.

But the world has changed since 1940s.

And changed again over the last year.

Rather than being suspicious of home working, governments and businesses should recognise this shift in the way we now work, appreciate the benefits it brings, and allow people the flexibility home working provides.