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Published on Monday, June 22, 2020

Ministers consider reducing two-metre rule after lowering Covid alert level



The Government is considering reducing the two-metre social distance rule, amid reports the Prime Minister will announce a move to one metre this week.





The move would allow more businesses to reopen, including those in the hospitality sector.


It comes as the Government downgraded the UK Covid-19 alert level from four to three at the weekend.


The level means the virus is still in general circulation but transmission is no longer high or rising exponentially, and there could be a 'gradual relaxing of restrictions'.


The UK's chief medical officers issued a statement saying: "There has been a steady decrease in cases we have seen in all four nations, and this continues.


"It does not mean that the pandemic is over. The virus is still in general circulation, and localised outbreaks are likely to occur.


"We have made progress against the virus thanks to the efforts of the public and we need the public to continue to follow the guidelines carefully to ensure this progress continues."


The announcement coincides with new Government figures that show the coronavirus infection rate is falling by up to 4% a day.


Wales will officially open its borders from July 6 and Scotland has entered the second phase of easing lockdown restrictions. Accommodation operators in England hope to be able to reopen on July 4, so long as rules on overnight stays are relaxed.


Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the move to the lower alert level as a 'big moment for the country'.


Yesterday, Hancock said he hoped people would be able to take a holiday soon as lockdown restrictions are slowly eased.


"I want people to be able to have a holiday if at all possible this summer."


"And the rules currently prevent people from staying elsewhere overnight unless they have exceptional circumstances.


"So that is something we are looking at, we are working on it."

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