What are the new social distancing rules in the England and do they apply to children?

6 July 2020, 12:17 | Updated: 6 July 2020, 12:50

Polly Foreman

By Polly Foreman

New social distancing rules came into force in England over the weekend - here's what you need to know.

On July 4, England continued its phased easing of lockdown by reopening pubs, restaurants and hairdressing salons.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the plans to the House of Commons on June 23, saying that the two-metre social distancing rule would be revised to accommodate their reopening.

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Previously, the UK had been one of only two European countries - the other being Spain - who had the 2m rule in place.

Most countries had been following the WHO guidance of 1m.

Hairdressers were allowed to open in England from July 4
Hairdressers were allowed to open in England from July 4. Picture: PA

What are the new social distancing rules in England?

From Saturday July 4, England has had a '1m+' social distancing rule.

Mr Johnson acknowledged that the two-metre guidance 'prevents all but a fraction of hospitality from operating', adding that he had asked experts to stage a review of the rule.

He said that, from July 4, "where it is possible to keep two metres apart, people should. But where it is not, we will advise people to keep a distance of 1 metre plus."

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This means that the public should take aim to stay two metres apart while possible, but that one metre would be acceptable in circumstances where this is not possible.

Two households in England are now allowed to meet up in any setting - including inside a home. However, you most only meet one other household at a time, and you should take care to practice social distancing, even inside.

England is operating under a '1m+' social distancing guideline
England is operating under a '1m+' social distancing guideline. Picture: PA

Who does the social distancing rule apply to?

The social distancing rule means that each person must stay '1m+' from everyone who is not in their household or 'support bubble'.

Single adults living alone, as well as a single parent with a child under 18, was allowed to form a 'support bubble' with another household of any size, and they do not have to socially distance while visiting each other.

Pubs were allowed to reopn with a '1m+ social distancing guideline
Pubs were allowed to reopn with a '1m+ social distancing guideline. Picture: PA

Do the social distancing rules apply to children?

Currently, the rules apply to everyone in England - including children.

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