How To Maintain Safety With 1m+ Social Distancing
As lockdown regulations ease off, social distancing in the UK has recently decreased in distance from 2m to 1m in line with government guidelines. This change comes with both pros and cons, however it has meant that the hospitality sector has been able to re-open which has been warmly welcomed by many.
As with most social distancing rules, the onus is on all of us to regulate ourselves and ensure that we follow guidelines, so we’re running through the ways that we can all maintain safety with 1m+ social distancing.
Why Did Social Distancing Go From 2m To 1m?
The government has recently reviewed the 2m guidelines that were in place and decided that the benefits of having 1m social distancing in place outweigh the risk.
They noticed that there were severe economic costs associated with the 2m distancing rule, and that moving this to 1m would allow many businesses to reopen. Although the risks of moving to 1m are a higher chance of transmission by about 2-10 times, the government has decided that if other mitigations are in place the 1m rule will carry relatively the same amount of risk as the 2m rule.
In their recent guideline review, they stated that “mitigations may reduce the level of risk at 1m so that it is broadly equivalent to being 2m apart”. The focus here is on the “other mitigations in place” that will help control the risk. These are things that we can all do to help control the spread and keep safe.
What Are The Other Mitigations?
In order for us to understand how to safely socially distance at 1m+, we need to understand what the other mitigations mean. What can we do as individuals to safely socially distance?
- Keep as much distance as possible
Although the guidelines are now at 1m, this doesn’t mean that you only have to practice 1m distancing. If you can give more room, then do it. Studies show that the more distance we give, the less easy it will be to transmit the virus between people.
- Try and remain in well-ventilated areas
One of the other mitigations that can lower the risk of spread is ventilation. The government report states that the risk of infection decreases if you are outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, so where possible we should seek to dwell in well-ventilated areas.
- Avoid busy areas
One of the challenges with the 1m+ rule is ensuring that we’re not hanging out in busy areas for too long. This might mean you have to change your commute to avoid peak travel or limit interactions as much as possible.
- Wear a face covering
Government advice suggests that wearing face coverings that cover your mouth and nose on public transport, in shops or crowded indoor environments is essential to keeping safe. When someone talks, breathes or coughs they may spray liquid droplets that might carry the virus, so you should wear a face covering to limit this.
How To Practice Safe Social Distancing
The above guidelines should help you practice safe social distancing, however you may also want to plan out where you will be going in advance and ensure that any venues you go to are COVID secure and well-ventilated.
As well as following the above guidelines, safe social distancing requires checking in on your personal condition and ensuring that you are in good health before you venture out. We all need to maintain social distancing, however ensuring that you are healthy and well before going out is an essential to help us stop the spread.
For more information, you can take a look at the NHS guidelines on how to safely social distance.