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Johnson urges continued patience in relation to reduction of 2 metre rule

Published:  16 June, 2020

Taking tonights briefing, PM Boris Johnson asked the hospitlity sector to remain patient in relation to reducing the 2 metre social distancing rule as the on-trade struggles to plan ahead of the mooted reopening on 4 July. 

“The answer is we're getting there," the PM said when asked the reemerging question - when will the UK move from the 2 metre rule to 1. 

“Please people, you know, I know people are very very patient about this and we're making as much progress on that as we can. Watch this space because we absolutely hear you,” said Johnson.

Adding that “that’s obviously the question I am being asked the whole time now”, he said: “As you know, the advice is that 2 metres is more effective at reducing the risk of transmission of the virus between us and that's why we've been going for this.”

Asked why the government was not following guidance by the World Health Organisation, and following other countries which have adapted social distancing of 1 metre, he said: “Lots of countries go for 2 metres. That's the advice that we have heard from our scientists, but it's also my view and I think an increasingly widespread view.

"That as we get the numbers down and get the rate of infection down in the country, then the statistical likelihood of any of us actually being next to somebody, whether 2 or 1 metres apart, who has Covid-19, is going down the whole time.”

Reiterating that the government is keeping a “constant review”, he added that “as we suppress the numbers we will have a strong case for reviewing those measures. But I am afraid that we can’t do it yet, we need to continue to make progress”.

In its latest call for clarity, UK Hospitality this week urged the government to confirm a reopening date for the hospitality sector to enable the on-trade to prepare for it properly. There has also been persistent calls for the 2 metre rule to be reduced to help business across hospitality to reopen.