Will Two Metre Rule Be Relaxed? PM Expected To Make Announcement On Possible Change Tomorrow

22 June 2020, 13:12 | Updated: 22 June 2020, 13:16

Government insists two-metre rule change would be 'underpinned by science'

The two-metre social distancing rule could be relaxed by the government as lockdown measures continue to ease in England.

Currently it’s advised people keep a two metre gap between each other in public spaces and when speaking to members outside of your household, in a bid to avoid potentially spreading coronavirus.

However, the government has been under pressure to reduce the requirement from two metres to one metre for the sake of a number of businesses' future.

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The two-metre rule being reduced is vital to the government’s plans in getting the country’s economy moving again.

Chancellor rich Sunak said reducing distancing would “make an enormous difference” to businesses.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce whether there will be a change to the social distancing guidelines tomorrow (Tuesday 23 June), along with how pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers can reopen.

4 July marks the start of “phase three”, when some hospitality businesses can reopen.

The two-metre social distance rule could soon be reduced to one metre
The two-metre social distance rule could soon be reduced to one metre. Picture: Getty

Ministers have been urging the government to relax the two-metre rule to one metre, amid fears many businesses may not be able to reopen in July with the current two-metre distance advice.

Many cafes, bars, restaurants, hair salons, and small shops would struggle to keep two-metre distance between customers at all times.

MPs fear this will continue to have a detrimental effect on the country’s economy, with hundreds of thousands more jobs at risk.

Currently the government advice is two metre distance to reduce virus transmisison
Currently the government advice is two metre distance to reduce virus transmisison. Picture: Getty

Leading scientists have called for a review into the strict measure, saying there is no indication two metres is safer than one.

Dominic Raab hinted during Monday’s daily briefing the two-metre distancing rule could be relaxed soon, after describing it as “nothing magic”.

He said the current restriction is “something that can be looked at” as the virus is brought under control.

Raab explained: “There's no magic to one or other particular measure, there will be different levels of risk whether it's at two metres, one-and-a-half metres or one metre."

The foreign secretary added: "We are still going to make sure that all of the policy judgements that we rightly as politicians take and are accountable for are underpinned by the science."

The two-metre rule has been in place since March and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has ordered a “comprehensive review” into the measurement.

France, Denmark and Singapore are among countries using the one-metre rule, while Canada and Spain have the two-metre restriction in place.

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