Majority of public in favour of keeping two metre social distancing rule, snap poll suggests

11 June 2020, 17:05

The two metre social distancing rule is still in place
The two metre social distancing rule is still in place. Picture: PA

By Maddie Goodfellow

The majority of people are in favour of keeping social distancing guidelines at two metres, a new poll suggests.

58 per cent of those surveyed were in favour of the two metre rule remaining in place, with 24 per cent advocating for a reduction to one metre.

Eight per cent said that social distancing should be scrapped altogether.

The UK government's current advice states: "You should keep two metres apart from people not in your household or support bubble at all times."

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has halved the distance people are required to remain apart to just one-metre.

The WHO advice is followed by other countries, such as France, Denmark and Singapore.

At Prime Minister's Questions on Wednesday, Boris Johnson promised to "keep that two-metre rule under constant review".

The poll also revealed that there is support for the two metre rule across all supporters of all major parties, with 53 per cent of Tory supporters, 65 per cent of Labour voters and 61 per cent of Lib Dem voters backing the current guidance.

Support for changing the rule to one metre also increases as Britons get older; with 17 per cent of 18-24 year olds, 21 per cent of 25-49 year olds 24 per cent of 50-65 year olds and 32 per cent of 65 and over supporting change.

The results follow growing pressure on the government from Tory MPs and business leaders to drop the two metre social distancing rule in England.

MPs, including former cabinet ministers Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Damian Green, say it is essential for the economy and some reports even suggest half of the Cabinet, including the Chancellor, are in favour of a change.

3,672 GB adults were surveyed on 11th June 2020.