Boris Johnson is under pressure from senior Conservative MPs to scrap the two-metre social distancing rule, it is claimed.
The Prime Minister revealed earlier this week that he had ordered the Government’s scientific advisers to review the stringent spacing rule, telling the Commons liaison committee that "we will be able to reduce that distance” as lockdown eases.
But Greg Clark, chairman of the Commons science committee, has reportedly written to the PM urging a speedy reduction to one-and-a-half metres.
“The difference between two metres and 1.5 metres may seem small but it can be the difference between people being able to go to work and losing their jobs,” Mr Clark told the Telegraph.
He reportedly cited a new paper from the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) which says it may be possible to “enable distancing at less than two metres” in certain areas, provided other Covid-19 control measures are implemented.
Former Brexit secretary David Davis also piled on pressure, warning firms could lose out if alterations to the Government-backed furlough scheme to make employers chip in are not implemented “in-step” with a relaxation of the two-metre rule.
But England’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty and the Government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance have insisted two metres is still necessary to stem the spread of the virus.
Sir Patrick warned a one-metre distance is “somewhere between 10 and 30 times more risky than at two metres”.
Professor Whitty said it was “really important” that people stayed two metres apart when meeting outside, adding it means they would not be counted as a contact that is require to self-isolate under the new test and trace system.