Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

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The social distancing regulation that has been in place since the beginning of lockdown, could be eased to allow more business owners the opportunity to open their doors this summer. Ministers are reportedly debating whether it’s possible to reopen beer gardens and outdoor spaces from July.

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PHE’s health protection director Prof Yvonne Doyle has said she will look into whether the current distancing precaution is necessary.

She told MP’s: “This will be the subject of continued investigation whether two metres is actually necessary or whether that can be reduced.

“It’s quite right we can review and learn from that. I’m sure that’s right.”

Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

The two metre rule could be relaxed in time for Britons to enjoy the reopening of pubs (Image: GETTY)

Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

The social distancing regulation that has been in place since the beginning of lockdown, could be eased. (Image: GETTY)

“It’s an important decision and we are fully aware of that,” she added.

Current World Health Organisation guidance is that there should be a one-metre distance in place, and many other countries follow this advice.

A possible solution for the reopening of pubs could be that people are made to be one metre apart in areas they are only in briefly.

COVID-19 cases are mostly spread by contaminated surfaces, not by particles in the air said a leading expert in building engineering and airborne infections.

READ MORE:Piers Morgan demands Cummings RESIGN over alleged lockdown breach

Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

Ministers are reportedly debating whether it’s possible to reopen beer gardens and outdoor spaces from July. (Image: GETTY)

Prof Catherine Noakes serves on the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) informing Government lockdown measures.

She told MPs: “If you are a metre or two metres away from someone you can still get that face-to-face transmission, but further away the outdoor environment disperses it.

“The chances of you being able to inhale enough outdoors is very very small.”

The professor also said a Chinese survey made reference to a study that showed all but one case of the virus were transmitted indoors.

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Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

A possible solution for the reopening of pubs could be that people are made to be one metre apart (Image: GETTY)

Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

Public Health England (PHE) confessed that any decision made would be a “trade off” between the economy and the safety of the public (Image: GETTY)

Public Health England (PHE) confessed that any decision made would be a “trade off” between the economy and the safety of the public to prevent a potentially fatal second wave.

Professor Doyle said: “It’s a learning experience internationally and we are aware of the international differences.

“We have looked at a range of international evidence and the WHO advises two metres [when in contact] for 15 minutes.

“We have taken a precautionary approach to say two metres, particularly indoors.

“That is where we are at the moment but we are still learning about this virus.”

“I know other countries use slightly less than that but until we know more the two-metre distance is important.” She added.

Other nations including Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and South Korea have a lesser 1.5-metre rule, while Hong Kong, Singapore, China and France have imposed one metre.

MP for Tunbridge Wells, Greg Clark stated: “Looking at the international comparisons that I see, we are an outlier at the extreme end of the distance that is recommended.”

Social distancing rule could be relaxed in time for pub reopening this July

Professor Doyle said: “It’s a learning experience internationally.” (Image: GETTY)

While Professor Andrew Curran, Chief Scientific Adviser at Health and Safety Executive, said: “As we learn more I think we have to do things slightly differently.”

“When you are dealing with members of the public who don’t always act in the way you expect them to act, that can be the barrier.

“That’s where the science can inform what mitigation we can take,” He added.


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