Some businesses could ‘work around' two-metre rule by using outdoor space

07 May 2020 by
Government health secretary Matt Hancock will close pubs and restaurants ‘if necessary’ to prevent coronavirus spread

Some businesses that may struggle with two-metre social distancing within their premises could ‘work around' the rule by making use of outdoor space, the health secretary has suggested.

Matt Hancock was speaking on Sky News and responding to a question from a café owner, who said his site would be too small to operate with social distancing. When presenter Kay Burley questioned whether the distance could be reduced, Hancock said the government would be "very careful to follow the clinical advice on the two-metre rule".

He added: "There's also very strong evidence that outdoors, the spread is much, much lower, so there may be workarounds that some businesses, for instance cafés, especially over the summer, might be able to put in place."

Hancock also confirmed that the government would be giving more information "very shortly" on how people can return to their workplaces safely. Prime minister Boris Johnson is expected to unveil a plan on 10 May that will include details on how the British economy will be restarted, how to travel to work and how to "make life in the workplace safer".

Government to unveil plan to restart the economy next week >>

Robin Hutson says rural hospitality will need support until 2021 to survive in letter to PM >>

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