Review of UK’s social distancing rule ‘to conclude within days’

A review into the 2-metresocial distancing rule in England will conclude “within the coming days”, according to the UK’s Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

Dowden told the BBC that the government’s review of the rule will be “concluding shortly, within the coming days”.

His comments came amid warnings that many businesses will not survive under the current guidance as the government prepares to ease more restrictions on July 4.

Pubs, restaurants and hotels were among those hoping to reopen.

Whitehall sources said the government would update the country on the social distancing rules next week.

It also comes as the coronavirus alert level was downgraded from four to three on Friday.

Under level three, the virus is considered to be “in general circulation” and there could be a “gradual relaxation of restrictions” – whereas in level four transmission was considered to be “high or rising exponentially”, reports the BBC.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson commissioned the review on June 14, saying there was “margin for manoeuvre” in the 2-metre social distancing rule as the number of coronavirus cases falls.

But the government has been under pressure from industry leaders and its own MPs to relax the rule, with widespread concerns around the impact it would have on the UK economy.

The other nations of the UK have not announced any plans to change the 2-metre distance.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she is looking at the evidence, and Northern Ireland’s Economy Minister Diane Dodds has said she is open to changing it.

A coronavirus adviser to the Welsh government said the risk in reducing the distance “isn’t very big”.