Union Minister says, after a review of the pandemic situation, full office attendance shall resume from February 7

Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh announced on in the evening that a review of the pandemic situation was done today and in view of the decline in the number of COVID cases as well as decline in positivity rate, it has been decided that full office attendance shall be resumed from tomorrow and employees at all levels, without any exemption, shall attend office on regular basis with effect from February 7, 2022.

The Minister further informed that the Head of Departments shall, however, ensure that employees wear face masks at all times and continue to follow the COVID appropriate behaviour.

According to an earlier Circular, 50% office attendance rule had been extended till 15th of February, but, after obtaining inputs from the relevant quarters and review of the situation, a fresh OM (Office Memorandum) is issued by the Department of Personnel & Training (DoPT) informing that all the employees at all levels, without any exemption, will report to office from tomorrow, that is, 7th of February 2022. There will no more be "work from home" option for any employee.

Pertinent to mention that DoPT had issued certain guidelines through an Office Memorandum (OM) dated 3rd January 2022 and the same were being reviewed from time to time depending upon the pandemic situation.

In a subsequent review, it was considered appropriate to extend these guidelines up to 15th February. The physical attendance of government servants below the level of the Under Secretary was restricted to 50 percent of the actual strength and the remaining 50 percent were asked to work from home. In addition to this, the persons with disability and pregnant women employees were exempted from attending office. The officers and staff working from home were asked to remain available on telephone and other means of communication at all times.

Meanwhile, last month, Dr Jitendra Singh held a video conference and spoke to the employees working from home as well as those who had tested positive for COVID. He had enquired about their well-being and also sought their inputs and views.