There have been calls from a number of Conservative MPs to reduce the recommended distance from two metres to one metres in order to enable more businesses to reopen. However, the Chief Medical Officer for England has repeatedly stated that two metres should remain as the advised social distance in order to avoid increasing the risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Sky News’ Kay Burley said: “The politicians seem to be separating themselves from the scientists all the time.
“I read in the papers at the weekend that two of our top scientists Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance are on resignation watch.
“Are you going to tell me that’s not true?”
The Small Business Minister replied: “That is not something I know about frankly.”
“We always work with scientists and we have always worked with the health advisors.
“Clearly there are difficult decisions to be made with whether its two metres, or opening of none essential retail, as the case today but we will always make sure the health of the people in the UK is top of the agenda.”
Last week Laura Kuenssberg outlined why the UK Government is facing an “awkward” decision regarding making changes to social distancing rules.
The BBC’s Political Editor told Politics Live of the tricky situation Downing Street is in regarding social distancing measures across the country.
Ms Kuenssberg stated that while reducing the two-metre distance rule would provide the UK with an economic boost, the Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty has stressed the importance of keeping the rule in place.
She continued: “In the guidelines for schools right now it already says that in the group of 15 children don’t have to be two metres apart all the time.
“It already says in the wider guidance that you can be within two metres of somebody if you absolutely have to be but try and do it for less than 15 minutes.
“So it may well be that what the Government does is move to something that is more nuanced rather than a decision that is very black and white straight away.
“I get the sense that the direction of travel on this in the Government is absolutely clear, I think there might be a decision on this quite soon actually.”