The Prime Minister has been announcing a string of lockdown easing measures in recent weeks to help restart the UK’s economy. On June 13, Mr Johnson announced that households may link with another to form a “social bubble” without distancing.
Mr Johnson said on Sunday that the two meter rule would be placed under review amid concerns from businesses and Tory MPs.
But he has cooled expectations by saying it would be “under review for 4 July”, which is the next phase for the lockdown easing “road map”.
The social distancing guidelines have been proven to manage infections, and scientists have made clear that the measures could help halt the spread of COVID-19.
There are concerns that businesses will find the current guidance unworkable as they reopen on Monday.
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He told reporters on Sunday: ”We’ll work very closely with the scientists at all times and make the right decision on the basis of safety, health and stopping the disease.
“The question for us is – as we get the numbers down so it becomes one in 1,000 (people infected with coronavirus), one in 1,600, maybe even fewer – your chances of being two metres or one metre or even a foot away from somebody who has the virus are obviously going down statistically.
“So you start to build some more margin for manoeuvre and we’ll be looking at that, and we’ll be keeping it under constant review as we go forward to the next step in our plan, which is 4 July.
“So we’ll be keeping it under review for 4 July.”
The same day, Chancellor Rishi Sunak stressed that any ease on social distancing measures will be decided by ministers and not scientific advisers.
He told the BBC: “We are the people who are elected to make decisions in this country.
“People should hold us responsible and accountable for making those decisions.
“I think that people are comforted and have confidence in those decisions if they know that we are taking advice from our scientists.”
The hospitality industry has been calling for the reduction of social distancing measures as they approach re-opening.
The Financial Times revealed that pub operator Young’s will not open until August as it refuses to start trading while two-metre social distancing rules are in place.
The pub group’s chief executive Patrick Dardis added that pubs that had already opened for takeaway, as many did during the recent sunny weather, risked losing goodwill as police were called out to deal with rowdy drinkers on streets and in parks without toilet facilities.
He said last Thursday: “With the pressure on the hospitals and police it’s not right.
“You have to think about the consequences of serving alcohol to people in pints who will then go to parks and drink.”