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Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield demonstrate possible three metre rule

This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield showed what a three metre rule would look like as scientists urge for social distancing to be increased.

The presenting duo discussed the possibility of the gap being increased as government ministers look for ways to manage the out of control coronavirus crisis.

During Tuesday morning’s episode of the magazine show, they demonstrated what the rule would look like for them, as Phillip, 58, quipped: ‘How long do they expect our sofa to be?’

‘How long do they expect our sofa to be?’ This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield showed what a three metre rule would look like

Speaking to Nick Ferrari during a segment about increased restrictions, Holly, 39, queried where the new advice was coming from.

She said: ‘The problem with it is, we understand how serious the situation is, you’ve got the World Heath Org saying it’s still up to a metre. There’s no one else saying that. That’s the problem isn’t it? Who do you listen to? 

Nick replied: ‘You’re absolutely right, this is because we’re at a time of great distress. There was a suggestion we’d only be allowed out once a week and nothing came of it. The government said they are not considering the three metre rule.’

While Phil added: ‘So where does this come from?!’

Managing a crisis: The presenting duo discussed the possibility of the gap being increased as government ministers look for ways to manage the out of control coronavirus crisis

Managing a crisis: The presenting duo discussed the possibility of the gap being increased as government ministers look for ways to manage the out of control coronavirus crisis

What should we do? Speaking to Nick Ferrari (bottom left) during a segment about increased restrictions, Holly queried where the new advice was coming from

What should we do? Speaking to Nick Ferrari (bottom left) during a segment about increased restrictions, Holly queried where the new advice was coming from

British radio host Nick, said: ‘SAGE advises the government. I agree, Phillip and Holly, the media have questions to answer.

While Holly admitted: ‘I agree, we have a responsibility to report facts. Life is bad enough without having to worry about untruths.’

Making his opinion on the possibility of increased social distancing known, Phil added: ‘No other country is doing this, three metres is too far.’ 

She said: 'The problem with it is, we understand how serious the situation is, you've got the World Heath Org saying it's still up to a metre. There's no one else saying that. That's the problem isn't it? Who do you listen to?'

She said: ‘The problem with it is, we understand how serious the situation is, you’ve got the World Heath Org saying it’s still up to a metre. There’s no one else saying that. That’s the problem isn’t it? Who do you listen to?’

Feeling the heat: The discussion came following reports that Boris Johnson is under pressure to increase the social distancing gap to stop the spread of coronavirus

Feeling the heat: The discussion came following reports that Boris Johnson is under pressure to increase the social distancing gap to stop the spread of coronavirus 

The discussion came following reports that Boris Johnson is under pressure to increase the social distancing gap to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Leading members of the Sage scientific advisory panel want the measure raised from ‘one metre plus’ to ‘two metres plus’.

Increasing the social distancing rule to three metres is seen as one way of stopping the spread of the new variant of the virus, which can be passed on more easily.

In reality: Graphics display what a three metre rule could look like once put into practice

In reality: Graphics display what a three metre rule could look like once put into practice 

In practice this would change the limit to three metres – nearly 10ft. The drastic proposal came as a furious Matt Hancock denounced individuals who flout social distancing rules.

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference the Health Secretary said that he would ‘not rule out further action if needed.’

He was backed by Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty, who sits on Sage and said it was time to ‘double down’ on Covid curbs – including outdoor contact.

Asked if a three-metre rule would be imposed in England, a Downing Street spokesman said last night: ‘There are no current plans to change social distancing rules. However, everything is kept under review.’

Opponents of the move say it would have little impact, cause more confusion and be a logistical nightmare. 

Two-metre signs have been painted on pavements across the nation, with similar notices found in tens of thousands of shops, factories, offices and public places.

Changing them all would add to the soaring cost of fighting the pandemic.

Supporters claim the benefit in saving lives and protecting the NHS means the move is worth it. They argue it is a response to the new variant which is thought to be up to be 70 per cent more transmissible.

Nick replied: 'You're absolutely right, this is because we're at a time of great distress. There was a suggestion we'd only be allowed out once a week and nothing came of it. The government said they are not considering the 3 metre rule'

Nick replied: ‘You’re absolutely right, this is because we’re at a time of great distress. There was a suggestion we’d only be allowed out once a week and nothing came of it. The government said they are not considering the 3 metre rule’

It came as the country recorded a further 529 Covid deaths on Monday – marking a 30 per cent rise on the 407 reported on the same day last week. 

It was the deadliest Monday since April 20 when 570 people lost their lives and it marked the worst week for deaths in Britain since the pandemic began. 

An average of 931 people have lost their lives on each of the past seven days, compared to the highest seven-day average of 920 in April’s first wave. 

But, in a positive sign that the UK’s soaring case load may be levelling out, 46,169 people tested positive for the virus – down 20 per cent in a week. 

The Daily Mail was told that several members of Sage say the lockdown needs to be even tougher than the first one in March last year.

The idea of a Chinese-style ban on residents leaving their homes was raised at one meeting.

While Holly admitted: 'I agree, we have a responsibility to report facts. Life is bad enough without having to worry about untruths'

While Holly admitted: ‘I agree, we have a responsibility to report facts. Life is bad enough without having to worry about untruths’


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