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What are the necessary mitigation measures if people are closer than two metres?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has introduced the concept of ‘one metre plus’.

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The Duke of York Bar in Belfast where the bar owner has put quirky social distancing messages on benches outside (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Duke of York Bar in Belfast where the bar owner has put quirky social distancing messages on benches outside (Liam McBurney/PA)

The Duke of York Bar in Belfast where the bar owner has put quirky social distancing messages on benches outside (Liam McBurney/PA)

The public has been told it is “absolutely critical” that every individual takes mitigation measures seriously as the two-metre social distancing rule is eased to “one metre plus” in England.

The mitigation measures will be in place to make up for any potential increased risk of catching coronavirus due to being in closer proximity to others who may be infected.

But what are the mitigation measures and where and when will people be expected to implement them?

The Government is expected to publish guidance soon which will give further detail on these measures, and in what scenarios they will be appropriate.

The Prime Minister has referred to measures including making sure people face away from each other and minimising the amount of time you spend with people outside of your household.

The PA news agency has taken a look at a few other precautions which have been mentioned as being part of the mitigation measures.

– Wearing face coverings

As a result of the easing, the British Medical Association (BMA) said the Government should now “require the public to wear face coverings”.

The wearing of face coverings or face masks is already mandatory on public transport where it is not always possible to be two metres apart from other passengers.

This precaution may be useful in other settings too where keeping your distance from people is problematic.

Some people choose to wear face coverings in supermarkets and shops, but it may be more difficult to enforce the measure at bars and restaurants.

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Screens at the check-in desks are disinfected at Edinburgh Airport as part of safety measures (Jane Barlow/PA)

Screens at the check-in desks are disinfected at Edinburgh Airport as part of safety measures (Jane Barlow/PA)

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Screens at the check-in desks are disinfected at Edinburgh Airport as part of safety measures (Jane Barlow/PA)

– Installing screens

During lockdown, when people were only permitted out of the house for exercise and essentials, they will have noticed the erection of screens at tills and self-checkout machines in supermarkets and grocery shops.

Screens could come in handy in many other scenarios such as pay points in bars and restaurants, hotel reception desks, or cinema ticket desks.

– Handwashing and hand sanitising facilities

Since the pandemic hit the UK, the public has been told time and time again that hand washing is absolutely vital in preventing the transmission and spread of the virus.

Therefore, it is no surprise that good hand hygiene will remain a central measure which everyone must follow.

When shops opened earlier this month, touch-free hand sanitation points were installed along busy shopping streets, so it is likely that these will become a regular feature of people’s lives everywhere they go.

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A pub owner installs hand sanitiser, as hospitality bosses cheered the proposals to allow customers through their doors again from July 4 (Joe Giddens/PA)

A pub owner installs hand sanitiser, as hospitality bosses cheered the proposals to allow customers through their doors again from July 4 (Joe Giddens/PA)

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A pub owner installs hand sanitiser, as hospitality bosses cheered the proposals to allow customers through their doors again from July 4 (Joe Giddens/PA)

– Being outdoors

Scientists have said the virus spreads more easily indoors, so when the lockdown was gradually eased it initially involved people meeting up with others outside.

With summer now upon us, the public could be enjoying al fresco dining in beer gardens and outdoor tables at restaurants with outdoor space.

Staycations in the British countryside could also be one way of ensuring families safely enjoy a summer holiday without worrying about quarantine periods or air bridges with other countries.

PA