Britain’s government will review its two-metre social distancing rule as a matter of urgency as it tries to help the country’s economy recover from a 25% collapse after the onset of the coronavirus crisis, finance minister Rishi Sunak said.
Sunak said progress in tackling the spread of COVID-19 meant the country was able to take a “fresh look” at the two-metre rule which many employers have said will make it harder for them to get back up to speed after the coronavirus lockdown.
Britain, the country with Europe’s highest death toll, will allow most stores to reopen on Monday as it tries to breathe life into an economy that shrank more than 20% in April. Meanwhile Bank of England officials may do their own part to aid the recovery, with analysts predicting a further increase in its bond-purchase plan on Thursday.
Fresh from a report showing the economy effectively lost 18 years worth of growth in two months, the nation will also this week see reports on unemployment, inflation, retail sales and house prices.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is working with Education Minister Gavin Williamson to ensure all schools can open in September and to provide support packages to help children catch up on lost learning, his office said on Saturday.
Detailed work is underway with schools, councils and unions to make sure all children are able to return in September if it is safe to do so, a Downing Street source said.
Schools shut to most pupils in March due to the coronavirus pandemic but selected age groups have been able to return since the beginning of June, although some educators decided not to re-open because they said it was not safe.