Boris Johnson has dropped the biggest hint yet that he is to ditch the two-metre rule on social distancing as many other countries have done.
The Prime Minister is reportedly looking at following World Health Organisation advice and cutting the distance people should remain apart from two metres to one.
Such guidance aimed at stopped the spread of coronavirus is already followed by countries including France, Denmark and Singapore.
Mr Johnson on Wednesday promised to “keep that two-metre rule under constant review” but there have been signs the Government is preparing to announce a change.
Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK’s chief scientific adviser, said at the daily Downing Street press briefing the two-metre advice was “not a rule”.
He said: “It is wrong to portray this as a scientific rule that says it is two metres or nothing – that is not what the advice has been and it is not what the advice is now.”
And according to the Telegraph, Mr Johnson has plans to scrap the rule by September at the latest so schools can reopen fully.
As well as helping to make it easier for schools to open, slashing the social distancing restriction could help pubs and restaurants to start-up again.
Business Secretary Alok Sharma this week accepting that “for economic reasons, businesses will want to take a look at this two-metre rule”.
Sir Keir Starmer called on the PM to act now to not risk missing his new target of all pupils returning to school by September.