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Government reviewing 2m social distancing rule in England

Government reviewing 2m social distancing rule in England

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has launched a review into the two-metre social distancing rule in Coronavirus guidance.

The social distancing rule has now been in place in the UK for months as the country has been responding to the outbreak of COVID-19. Everybody is advised to stay 2 metres away from others that they do not live with in order to help reduce the spread of the virus.

However, as the country is beginning to return to some normality, there have been calls for the social distancing requirements to be eased. Retail outlets in England can reopen from Monday and the government is hoping to allow the reopening of some of the hospitality sector from July 4. There have been calls from some business leaders and politicians for the 2m rule to be looked at again, with some claiming that many pubs and similar venues will be unable to reopen while it remains in place.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said;

"The Prime Minister has put in place a comprehensive review of the 2m rule, he has always said we keep everything under review, all the guidance, as we evolve through this crisis to see what we're able to look at. That review will involve the scientists, the economists and others so we can look at it in the round."

On Sunday, Mr Johnson urged people to follow social distancing rules 'to protect yourself and others' in a tweet shared after he visited Westfield Shopping Centre in Stratford to see adjustments being made ahead of shops reopening.

The 2m social distancing rule is not standardised around the world and varies from country to country. The UK, Canada and Spain are advising a distance of 2m while France, Denmark and others have just a 1m distancing rule. Other countries have set distances between 1m and 2m, and some of those with lower distancing rules have told people that they must wear face masks.

The World Health Organization has recommended social distancing of at least 1m from others.

It is understood that any changes to the social distancing rules in the UK are unlikely to come into effect before July, when the government next hopes to make major changes to the lockdown measures, subject to its five tests for easing lockdown measures being met.

The number of deaths and cases attributed to COVID-19 in the UK has been falling, though over 100 people on average are still dying from the virus each day. Over 41,000 people are confirmed to have died in the UK with a positive COVID-19 test to date - the most deaths for any one country for the virus only behind Brail and the United States.

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