BORIS Johnson has ordered civil servants to clear their huge backlog in two months.
The PM is said to be furious at the piling up of passport applications, birth certificates, probation documents and other essential services.
The lack of officials working in the office has caused millions of pieces of crucial paperwork to stack up as it cannot be processed remotely.
But tomorrow Mr Johnson will issue an explicit back to work guidance to officials to “ensure normal service resumes as soon as possible”.
His letter to Cabinet ministers sets them a deadline of next Friday to draw up plans for clearing the in-trays by the end of September.
They must report to the head of the Number 10 Policy Unit, Munira Mirza.
Around 400,000 Brits are without passports, with some waiting 143 days for a renewal. Fast-track and premium services were suspended due to Covid-19 with a million passports expiring.
Some 150,000 babies are lacking legal status as parents cannot register births, while grieving families are struggling to get probates to wind up dead relatives’ estates.
Unions have posed further obstacles by opposing plans to open workplaces, such as the Passport Office, until 10pm.
Such a move would let staff rotate shifts throughout the day to help with social distancing.
Mr Johnson added: “Our priority should be to ensure we get back on track things that have slid in the crisis.”
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