Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Social distancing end: Will the end of social distancing be delayed?

Boris Johnson discusses future of social distancing rules

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Social distancing rules could likely change in the coming weeks. But now with a rise in cases across pockets of the UK driven by the rapid spread of the new highly transmissible Indian Covid variant, some experts believe the end of social distancing could be delayed. There have been 5,647 cases of the Indian variant so far, with scientists predicting this to rise in the coming weeks.

Social distancing has been in effect since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under these rules, you must try to remain at least two metres away from other people you are not meeting with.

This is to cut down on the spread of coronavirus which is spread via droplets in close proximities.

Despite lockdown easing taking place, Britons are still advised to observe social distancing with strangers.

Last Monday, the Government updated its advice about hugging.

Until May 17, people were required to keep distance from anyone outside their household or support bubble.

However, since that time, the Government has said people are allowed to exercise “personal judgement” on close contact with others.

Everyone has been warned to be cautious as some people are still more vulnerable to coronavirus than others.

When hugging the following steps are advised to keep as safe as possible:

  • Turn your faces away from one another
  • Keep the duration of the hug short
  • Do not hug face-to-face
  • Wear a mask if one of you is vulnerable
  • Do not hug too many people at once.

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The social distancing guidelines remain in effect which mandate you to stay at least two metres or six feet apart from anyone you do not live with or bubble up with.

Downing Street today said more data on the Indian variant is needed before making a decision on social distancing.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told reporters: “We will do it as soon as possible based on the latest data, which will help inform us what measures we can take around certification.”

The latest data on the Indian variant is needed and “that will allow us to make final decisions” on the issues.

He added: “I think it’s reasonable for a new variant such as this, and the need to gather as much data as possible to inform our decisions.

“It’s right to take the time to get that information before making those final decisions.”

Despite the growth of cases of the Indian variant, the Government has remained positive about the prospects of June 21 unlocking.

A decision is due to be announced on June 14 as to whether England will proceed to stage four of the roadmap plan.

Earlier this month, the Prime Minister predicted the “one-metre plus” rule for social distancing could be scrapped at stage four.

During a Downing Street press conference, he said: “When it comes to social distancing from June 21, I look at the data very carefully and I think at the moment it looks to me as though we may be able to dispense with the one-metre plus rule.”

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