2m rule could be slashed if number of Covid infections falls, health & safety boss suggests

2m rule could be slashed if number of Covid infections falls, health & safety boss suggests

June 9, 2020

BRITAIN'S two metre rule could be slashed if the number of covid-19 infections comes down further, Britain's top health and safety boss said tonight.

Sarah Albon suggested it wasn't just about the distance away from another person which was important to consider, it was about the chances of getting it too.

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The more the virus is circulating around, the more of a risk it will be to go within than two metres from someone.

MPs and campaigners have been lobbying to cut the 2m rule down to save thousands of businesses and jobs.

Businesses fear that having to stay so far apart will cripple them, as they will only be able to run at a small percentage of their total capacity.

Other countries around the world have cut their distances down to 1.5m or even 1m.

But British scientists say that 2m is the safest distance that two people who are not in the same household can be from one another – without being at risk of catching the virus.

 

Boris Johnson has promised to conduct a fresh review of the 2m rule.

He wants to cut it in the future, when it is safe to do so.

The 2m rule is "under review" and the science continues to be looked at, Alok Sharma said tonight.

"It will only change when it is safe to do so," he said.

Sarah Albon, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive added: "The science is very clear that where somebody has a Covid infection the chance of them passing that on at two metres distance from other people is significantly less than say one and a half or one metre. 

"It requires a view both of the chance of the infection being passed on but also the prevalence in society. 

"Because that sort of mix of how many people in the population have got this illness, combined with what's a safe distance gives you the probability of something being passed on and it's, it's that complicated series of considerations that will cause the scientist to give advice to Government about the time when it's it's safe to make a shift."

Scietntists have concluded that it is still possible to stay safe at 1m apart.

Canadian researchers found there was a 1.3 per cent chance of contracting the virus when you are stood two metres apart, but this only increases to 2.6 per cent when you are separated by one metre.

But the Government have yet to make any changes.

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