Cases still too high to reduce distancing to one metre, according to independent SAGE member

22 June 2020, 11:40

By Seán Hickey

A public health expert said that the UK is not ready to reduce social distancing to one metre, as coronavirus cases are too high.

"I don't think the level of cases is low enough" said Dr Gabriel Scally, President of the Epidemiology and Public Health section of the Royal Society of Medicine and a member of the independent SAGE group, which monitors the coronavirus pandemic and recommends how the UK moves forward, similarly to the government advisory SAGE committee.

Nick Ferrari began the conversation with the government plans to announce relaxed measures tomorrow which will see social distancing being reduced to one metre.

"I'm not going to be enormously pleased because I don't think the time is right" said Dr Scally. He pointed out to Nick that there is currently 3,000 new confirmed cases of coronavirus per day and yet "we're only finding a minority of those." In which case, he was of the opinion that the UK cannot move forward in it's coronavirus response.

"I would much prefer if the test and tracing system was working – it's not as we know and won't be fully working 'til September, so I don't think things are in the right place for any real substantial relaxation."

The independent SAGE member told Nick that now is not the right time to reduce social distancing
The independent SAGE member told Nick that now is not the right time to reduce social distancing. Picture: PA

Nick argued that "we have to balance the economy" and waiting until it is safer to do so in September might be far too late. Dr Scally acknowledged this but noted that "the distance issue is a big thing and at two metres the chance of spread is ten times" and we have already seen some easing of lockdown with two metre distancing still in place.

"The World Health Organisation is contented with one metre" Nick rebuked, wondering why the independent SAGE member felt maintaining two metres was paramount.

Dr Scally argued that "the numbers have come really well down" under two metre restrictions and there is potential for numbers to rise again if this is abolished.

"If people are going to be in restaurants and in pubs for a period of time, well that's not so good either" the independent SAGE member warned, in sharing the difference in transmission rate between gathering indoors versus gathering outdoors.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

'Where do they find the time?!': Nick Ferrari slates mob attacking 'sexist' paint ad

'Where do they find the time?!': Nick Ferrari slates mob attacking 'sexist' paint ad

Nick Ferrari sold on caller's 'three one-off taxes' plan to raise cost-of-living funds

Nick Ferrari sold on caller's 'three one-off taxes' plan to raise cost-of-living funds

Nick Ferrari mocks caller who blames Brexit for water crisis

Nick Ferrari mocks caller who blames Brexit for water crisis

Nick Ferrari gobsmacked after caller says he has had seven bikes stolen.

Nick Ferrari gobsmacked at how caller has had seven bikes stolen

LBC's Reporter Charlotte Lynch took a dip off the Cornish Coast

Nick Ferrari's 'swimming in shark infested waters' reporter challenge

Jacob Rees-Mogg said civil servants had been offered a course on witchcraft

Courses on Check Yo Privilege and witchcraft for civil servants are a waste of time, says JRM

The Defence Secretary was speaking to Nick Ferrari

Ben Wallace accuses Rishi Suank of trying to block extra cash for defence spending

Ben Wallace is backing Liz Truss

'Feisty' Truss is my choice for PM, says Ben Wallace as he reveals endorsement

Tory party co-chair looks ahead to LBC leadership hustings with Nick Ferrari

Tory party co-chairman looks ahead to LBC leadership hustings with Nick Ferrari

'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up her constituency seat for Boris

'Totally invented tosh': Nadine Dorries dismisses claims she'd give up seat for Boris

Sunak is 'opposed to transparency' over police league table plans, says minister

Sunak is 'opposed to transparency' over police league table plans, says minister

Exclusive
'Do you want him evicted?': Mick Lynch defends RMT deputy living in council flat on £78k

'Do you want him evicted?': Mick Lynch defends RMT deputy living in council flat on £78k

Exclusive
Social workers 'showed no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

Social workers showed 'no interest' in tragic Lily-Mai case, grandfather tells LBC

A furious Nick Ferrari summed up the issue

Nick Ferrari slams 'sanctimonious' BBC over Princess Diana interview

Nick Ferrari mocks Prince Harry after UN speech

Nick Ferrari mocks Prince Harry after UN speech - 'Buy the bloke a Peroni!'

Mordant 'spent months' preparing for Tory leadership campaign

Mordaunt 'left other ministers to pick up the pieces as she planned leadership bid'