DAMIAN GREEN has called for the two-meter social distancing guideline to be eased.
The UK was put into lockdown on March 23 by Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The lockdown has helped mitigate coronavirus infection rates. However, this has wreaked havoc on the UK economy.
Mr Green, MP for Ashford, made on appearance on BBC Newsnight, where he called for the measures to be eased for businesses.
He said: “I think the single biggest change that needs to come over the coming weeks is a move from the two meter safe zone we now have to one meter.
“Because I think that makes a huge difference to matt parts of industry, particularly hospitality businesses, restaurants, pubs and so on.
“And weve seen other countries do that, actually move from two meters to one meter without any damaging effects so far.”
Mr Green has also said: “I would combine it with much greater mask-wearing.
“If we dont do this it will be the end for many pubs and restaurants.”
He is one of many Tory MPs piling pressure onto the Prime Minister as businesses look towards reopening.
John Redwood, another Tory former Cabinet minister, added: “The WHO and many other countries propose one or 1.5 metres as safe social distancing.
“Its time we agreed as two metres makes economic recovery very difficult.”
Former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith said: “The number one and single most important priority to unlock the economy is getting the distance down to one metre.
“The difference between one and two metres is the difference between opening the economy properly and seeing it bump along at the bottom without being able to bounce back.
“The hospitality sector simply cant make a living at two metres.
“Its restrictive at one metre but at least they can come close to making it work. And its impossible to run public transport properly at two metres.”
Their comments come as Prime Minister Johnson said at Prime Ministers Questions on Wednesday that the social distancing guidelines are “under review.”
At the House of Commons, Mr Johnson responded to SNPs Ian Blackford: “Ive read many papers actually on the social distancing rule, and its a very interesting point.
“And I think members across the House of Commons will want to understand that I believe that those measures, the two-metre rule, need now to be kept under review.”
Mr Johnson added: “As we drive this disease down, as we get the incidence down, working together I want to make sure that we keep that two-metre rule under constant review.”
The rule has been under review as the UK hospitality industry has seen major losses from the pandemic.
UK hospitality sales dropped by a staggering 21.3 percent in the first quarter.
In April, it was revealed that Universal Credit claims had skyrocketed by 70 percent.
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned on Wednesday that the UKs economy will contract by 11.5 percent in 2020.
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