Boris Johnson set to announce new 'one metre plus' social distancing rule

21 June 2020, 11:09

The current social distancing rules say people should be two metres apart
The current social distancing rules say people should be two metres apart. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The Prime Minister is set to announce a new "one metre plus" social distancing rule, it has been reported.

Boris Johnson will reportedly announce changes to the current two metre social distancing rule next week, following a government review into existing guidelines.

The government-issued review is expected to conclude imminently.

It is expected that the move will take effect from July 4.

The Prime Minister will meet with the Cabinet tomorrow to discuss results of the No10 review of the 2m social distancing rule.

Further details are expected during the week.

A No10 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.” 

Shops, restaurants, schools, offices and parks will all be able to implement the new systems, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

It means that people will be able to be one metre away form each other, rather than two, as long as they are taking extra measures to protect themselves. These can include masks and meeting outdoors.

In addition to this, the government is expected to announce that the hospitality sector can start trading again in the near future.

Boris Johnson is expected to make the announcement next week
Boris Johnson is expected to make the announcement next week. Picture: PA

On Saturday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak hinted that Boris Johnson's review "will make an enormous difference" to businesses.

The Chancellor strongly signalled it will allow the Government to ease the measure in England.

"The outcome of that review will be announced this week. Obviously that's something that will make an enormous difference I think to many businesses who are keen to see a change," he told reporters during a visit to shops in North Yorkshire.

"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."

Mr Johnson has come under pressure from several sides including hospitality sector leaders and his own backbench MPs, they want the PM to reduce the two-metre rule which is placing major restrictions on some businesses.

The UK's existing social distancing stance is more stringent than the positions adopted by authorities in many other countries and the WHO, which recommends authorities employ a social distancing rule of at least one metre.