Boris Johnson is set to outline further details about these current issues at the Covid-19 Strategy Committee on Monday. On Tuesday, the PM will address any changes with cabinet members before revealing his plans to Parliament on the next stages of easing lockdown. Mr Johnson has suggested that moves would be “the first to be reversed” if these decisions result in more coronavirus cases.
Earlier, Health Secretary Matt Hancock was hopeful that the two metre rule can be adjusted, but with “mitigations” to control the virus.
July 4 is the same day restaurants, pubs and hairdressers are all due to reopen.
Businesses have urged the Government to reconsider the enforced 2m rule to accommodate more customers.
Meanwhile, Tory MP’s have also put pressure on Downing Street to lower the ruling.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Greg Clark, chair of the Commons science committee explained it could “be the difference between people being able to go to work and losing their jobs.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) advises a distance of at least 1m, with other countries implementing a lower enforced distance.
Only Canada, Spain and the UK have enforced the full two meters.
France, China and Hong Kong have issued a one-metre gap, whilst Australia, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Portugal advise the public to maintain a 1.5 metre distance from each other.
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A Downing Street spokesperson said: “The reason we are able to move forward this week is because the vast majority of people have taken steps to contain the virus.”
“The more we open up, the more important it is that everyone follows the social distancing rules.
“We will not hesitate to put the handbrake on to stop the virus running out of control.”
This week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak spoke of the “enormous difference” altering the social distancing rule could have in the Economy’s recovery.
He said: ‘Obviously that’s something that will make an enormous difference I think to many businesses who are keen to see a change.
Obviously we need to go through that review but I’m very understanding of the calls for action on that, particularly for our hospitality industry, for our pubs, for our restaurants, [they] are keen to see if there’s some change that can be made there.’
Latest research suggests the 1m rule is enough to control the virus, in a study in medical journal The Lancet, scientists revealed how they believe the coronavirus spreads.
Scientists estimate that the risk of being infected is 13% within 1m, dropping to only 3% beyond that distance.
They also believe that for every extra metre of distance up to 3m, the chances of contracting the virus are reduced by a further half.
Published at Sun, 21 Jun 2020 23:15:00 +0000