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Government launches review into 2m social distancing rule Published Date: 14/06/2020

The Prime Minister has launched a review of the 2 metre social distancing rules amidst calls to reduce it to allow more businesses to open.

The BBC reported that: “MPs have warned that large parts of the hospitality industry will not be viable with the 2m coronavirus rule in place.”

The BBC reported that the review will aim to be completed by 4 July, when pubs and restaurants could open at the earliest in England.

The World Health Organization's recommendation is 1m (just over 3ft) and some other countries like France and Denmark are applying the 1m distance.  However, the UK government's scientific advisers say that being 1m apart carries up to 10 times the risk of being 2m apart.

The BBC report stated that some bars, restaurants and pubs say they will be unable to make a profit if the 2m guidance is still in place when they reopen. Tourism firms have also warned of tens of thousands of job losses unless the distance is shortened.

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of the industry body UK Hospitality, says that with a 2m rule, outlets would be only able to make about 30% of normal revenues, whereas 1m would increase that to 60-75%.

Richard Caring, chairman of Caprice Holdings which runs the Ivy, told the Mail on Sunday the government was "killing the country".

"There are estimates saying we could have up to five million unemployed," he said. "It's not going to be five million - it's going to be more. I don't think we've seen anything yet."

Source: BBC