Is it time to relax the 2m social distancing guideline? (WHO guidance is 1m)

What change do you think should happen to social distancing guidelines?


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AM9

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As a result that you yourself say you get little satisfaction from going to pubs, whereas my social circle is quite the opposite.
You can disagree with my argument of course, but the fact that I don't have a need to regularly drink in pubs, isn't a rational reason to disagree with it.
 

HLE

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Yes, it is time to relax within the next month or so. By the time the app is up and running those that get the alert will have to isolate - this bit needs enforcing.

However if we can all now have a test, why 14 days isolation? Book a test as soon as you get the alert, get tested and once the results are back (several days?) it's either more isolation or back to normal depending on the result.
I'd enforce that bit by each test being possible to be booked using the app, having a unique code/number, generated by the app, which is then inputted with the test result onto the central servers by the labs. This would identify each test result to the person/phone and tell the person to either continue isolating (positive) or return to normal (negative). As a non techie, is this possible?

2 things need to be in place - testing capacity and police to check on those isolating - using bluetooth it could be non invasive.

Yes, it's not possible for those without smartphones. And it's open to abuse. But this lockdown can't last forever.

Meanwhile, life would return to normal.
 

SuperNova

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Sadly, we seem to be rushing into normality, constantly comparing the UK to countries who are either a) way ahead of us or b) have nowhere near comparable deaths. Denmark is the prime example as they've had 550 deaths.

It's better to be cautious. As clearly, we've not been properly prepared at any step in dealing with this.
 

Bletchleyite

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Yes, it is time to relax within the next month or so. By the time the app is up and running those that get the alert will have to isolate - this bit needs enforcing.

However if we can all now have a test, why 14 days isolation? Book a test as soon as you get the alert, get tested and once the results are back (several days?) it's either more isolation or back to normal depending on the result.
A test doesn't work straight away - this was alluded to in today's briefing. It needs a minimum of 3 days, ideally a week, to be sure of the result being valid, as this is the incubation period.
 

Bantamzen

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You can disagree with my argument of course, but the fact that I don't have a need to regularly drink in pubs, isn't a rational reason to disagree with it.
A rational reason not to agree with you is that you are not a regular drinker in pubs, and therefore you are not necessarily best positioned to make comment on the type of people using them and how they might move forward.


Sadly, we seem to be rushing into normality, constantly comparing the UK to countries who are either a) way ahead of us or b) have nowhere near comparable deaths. Denmark is the prime example as they've had 550 deaths.

It's better to be cautious. As clearly, we've not been properly prepared at any step in dealing with this.
I'm sure we'd all love to be able to take the cautious route. However a £300 billion and more cost for the current crisis to date is the rather large problem lurking in the room.

Of course if you have any ideas how we can fund more caution we'd be all ears, as would be the Chancellor...
 

CaptainHaddock

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Sadly, we seem to be rushing into normality, constantly comparing the UK to countries who are either a) way ahead of us or b) have nowhere near comparable deaths. Denmark is the prime example as they've had 550 deaths.

It's better to be cautious. As clearly, we've not been properly prepared at any step in dealing with this.
But we should be looking at countries who are "far ahead of us". We have the advantage of looking at countries like Spain and Italy who had their peak infections and deaths 2 to 3 weeks earlier than we did. They are now reopening their bars and restaurants so it's fair to assume that we should be looking to reopening ours in 2 to 3 weeks' time.
 

SuperNova

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But we should be looking at countries who are "far ahead of us". We have the advantage of looking at countries like Spain and Italy who had their peak infections and deaths 2 to 3 weeks earlier than we did. They are now reopening their bars and restaurants so it's fair to assume that we should be looking to reopening ours in 2 to 3 weeks' time.
Yet as a nation we did not go into anything remotely like the lockdown's that they went into. Added to that, as nations, both have been superior in testing compared to the UK.

Had we also been looking at other countries, we may have made those coming into the UK quarantine back in March like New Zealand than wait until June...
 

OhNoAPacer

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Yes, it is time to relax within the next month or so. By the time the app is up and running those that get the alert will have to isolate - this bit needs enforcing.

However if we can all now have a test, why 14 days isolation? Book a test as soon as you get the alert, get tested and once the results are back (several days?) it's either more isolation or back to normal depending on the result.
I'd enforce that bit by each test being possible to be booked using the app, having a unique code/number, generated by the app, which is then inputted with the test result onto the central servers by the labs. This would identify each test result to the person/phone and tell the person to either continue isolating (positive) or return to normal (negative). As a non techie, is this possible?

2 things need to be in place - testing capacity and police to check on those isolating - using bluetooth it could be non invasive.

Yes, it's not possible for those without smartphones. And it's open to abuse. But this lockdown can't last forever.

Meanwhile, life would return to normal.
The current test seems to have a 30% false negative rate according to reports, though the government has not released any figures so this may or may not be the case. If this figure is correct then relying on a negative test result to show one is covid free and relaxing all other restrictions looks like a step towards exponential growth returning.
 

Tezza1978

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I don't think our lockdown was significantly different to Spain or Italy - other than restricting exercise further/needing a pointless bit of paper to leave the house.
New Zealand , much as I like their leader, isn't remotely comparable to the UK in terms of population density/public transport setup/regional travel...…...
 

Bikeman78

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The minute they let full planes take off in any number the credibility of Social Distancing becomes untenable and in my view should be abandoned. You are not going to get 1m never mind 2m separation, so the question in reality becomes academic.
Agreed. I doubt Easyjet will be telling people they can only travel if it's essential. Meanwhile I'm not allowed to trundle around on an empty eight car EMU?
 

AM9

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A rational reason not to agree with you is that you are not a regular drinker in pubs, and therefore you are not necessarily best positioned to make comment on the type of people using them and how they might move forward. ...
You have misunderstood my statement. Just because I personally am not dependent on visiting pubs (or consuming alcohol anywhere for my pleasure), I do still go to them. Some of my friends do and sometimes I also go with them, so I am aware of the way that they can see the difference between bars visited on holiday and meeting regular acquaintances in a local, (it has been discussed on more than one occasion). I also know them well enough to say that they also don't think that their desire to go to a pub is more important than the need to constrain the infection rate of COVID-19, especially in the short term. It seems from some of the poosts on this forum that there are some who do think otherwise.
 

FelixtheCat

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What about Sweden then ? - The Joker in the pack !!
Essentially, people generally listen to the authority in Sweden. The societal differences are fairly large.

Also, Sweden is doing contact tracing, and has done from the start. It has a tiered tracing system.

What do you suggest then? 2m is not viable!
Until the UK gets down to the same level of increase in deaths & infections as Denmark did when it reduced social distancing, we simply can't afford to. If you're going to point at Denmark and say "we should do what they're doing", the circumstances have to be somewhat comparable. This is your example, not mine.
 

yorkie

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We're going round in circles but I'm telling you the we cannot do this as a long term thing and it won't happen. It would get to a point where people won't stand for it.
 

Yew

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The current test seems to have a 30% false negative rate according to reports, though the government has not released any figures so this may or may not be the case. If this figure is correct then relying on a negative test result to show one is covid free and relaxing all other restrictions looks like a step towards exponential growth returning.

From discussions with medical and testing lab friends; the actual test will give a highly accurate reading of the sample contains, but it's difficult to get a good sample.
 

Jayden99

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We're going round in circles but I'm telling you the we cannot do this as a long term thing and it won't happen. It would get to a point where people won't stand for it.
Public opinion has pretty consistently been pro-lockdown and I would hazard that it remains as such. The current levels of restrictions (in England) seem to me to be the sweet spot, people are allowed outside as long as they're sensible, certainly alleviates the cabin fever of the past 2 months. Come back to me in another month when the virus has continued to trend downwards and then it might be the right time to consider further loosening, the virus is still way too prevalent in the community to throw open the floodgates now
 

FelixtheCat

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We're going round in circles but I'm telling you the we cannot do this as a long term thing and it won't happen. It would get to a point where people won't stand for it.
You said that we should follow the example of Denmark, despite the fact that the UK's cmpletely botched response to COVID-19 means we're a good fortnight or so away from having a comparable rise in infection, death rate, and R-number.

The way the UK's trajectory is going, some restrictions could be eased in 2-4 weeks. I would not class that as long term.

But, the restriction easement in England was much earlier than other's. To continue with your Danish example, they released some lockdown restrictions (and remember that we had one of the loosest lockdowns in Europe) when their death toll had increased by 67 since the start of May. We did so from our already relatively loose position with an increase of ~4,500. In that sense, a rise in infection rate & thus death rate is not inconceivable. So, because of impatience from government, we may well have to endure another round of lockdown. Releasing too early makes it much worse in the long term. That's why setting arbitrary dates is an utterly pointless exercise. To try and say that my reluctance to set a date is because I want to continue this for the long term is simply wrong. Your example shows this.
 

OhNoAPacer

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From discussions with medical and testing lab friends; the actual test will give a highly accurate reading of the sample contains, but it's difficult to get a good sample.
Yes, I should have been more precise with my language, I meant the process that includes sampling and not just the analysis.

Should expect better from someone who worked in an ISO17025 accredited analytical facility. :rolleyes::oops:
 

yorkie

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The way the UK's trajectory is going, some restrictions could be eased in 2-4 weeks. I would not class that as long term.
The fact is that 2 metres is not consistent with WHO guidelines and is not viable longer term. If it gets ditched in 2 weeks then that's just about acceptable. 4 weeks is not ideal but we may get away with that. No way can it continue into July though.

Call that arbitrary if you want, but it's realism.
 

FelixtheCat

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The fact is that 2 metres is not consistent with WHO guidelines and is not viable longer term. If it gets ditched in 2 weeks then that's just about acceptable. 4 weeks is not ideal but we may get away with that. No way can it continue into July though.
If the government continues to respond in the way it has done so far, we might have to.
 

CaptainHaddock

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Public opinion has pretty consistently been pro-lockdown and I would hazard that it remains as such. The current levels of restrictions (in England) seem to me to be the sweet spot, people are allowed outside as long as they're sensible, certainly alleviates the cabin fever of the past 2 months. Come back to me in another month when the virus has continued to trend downwards and then it might be the right time to consider further loosening, the virus is still way too prevalent in the community to throw open the floodgates now
Unfortunately the public, not to put too fine a point on it, are idiots. They've been so scared by the government's over the top "stay at home, save lives" message that a significant proportion of people think that the minute they leave their homes they will instantly catch the virus and die! In reality of course the actual chances of catching the virus, particularly outdoors, is so minimal as to be insignificant, however much the lockdown enthusiasts on so many internet forums may tell you otherwise.

With the number of infections and deaths falling constantly over recent days, I would be very surprised if the current lockdown measures are extended beyond the next review in around a week's time.
 

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