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World Health Organization: Social Distancing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL5722, tabled on 15 June 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made, if any, of reported flaws in the study by the World Health Organisation about the risks posed by reducing social distancing to one metre.

Answered on

29 June 2020

The Government commissioned a review into the two metre (six feet) social distancing rule and took advice from a range of experts, including the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Advisor, behavioural scientists and economists to ensure that it comprehensively examined how the two metre rule works in practice, the evidence around transmission of the virus in different environments, incidence rates, and international comparisons.

Given the significant fall in the prevalence of the virus, the Prime Minister has announced that we can change the two metre social distancing rule from 4 July to a ‘one metre plus’ approach. This means members of the public can be one metre away from each other while other measures are put in place to limit the transmission of the virus. Where it is possible to keep two metres apart people should continue to do so.