Opinion: We must cut the two metre rule in half

PUBLISHED: 08:30 21 June 2020

MP Iain Duncan Smith wants social distancing to be cut to 1m. Picture: PA Images/Stefan Rousseau

MP Iain Duncan Smith wants social distancing to be cut to 1m. Picture: PA Images/Stefan Rousseau

PA Wire/PA Images

I am dismayed that some primary school children will not be back in the classroom until September, despite children under

the age of 15 being more likely to be struck by lightning than falling ill from Covid.

This decision will only further disadvantage the most vulnerable children.

Re-opening schools and businesses and increasing the capacity of public transport all rests on one vital decision.

We must change the social distancing requirement from two metres to one metre as the World Health Organisation advises.

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This will have a huge effect on the hospitality sector. Before Covid it was set to create 500,000 more jobs.

It’s already the third largest employer, generating 5 per cent of GDP and is twice as big as the financial services sector.

Most pubs, cafes and restaurants could open with a one metre rule but eight in 10 will stay closed under the current advice.

Meanwhile the risk of catching Covid remains slight. A 2.6 per cent chance at one metre distance and 1.3pc at two.

A tiny difference that can be further reduced by wearing face masks.

If we continue to hamstring our economy companies will go bust, millions will become unemployed and our borrowing will soar.

For the sake of our health and wellbeing as much as for our economic future, the government must cut the two metre rule and do it now.

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