Social distancing rules around the UK

Following on from our earlier post on social distancing, Ronnie has for praise for the BBC, fulfilling its duty to educate as well as to inform and entertain.

How far apart should you stay from others? One metre or two metres? That depends on where you live. In Scotland and England, you can practise ‘one metre plus social distancing but two metres is recommended wherever possible. In Wales, you are advised to keep two metres apart. In Northern Ireland, the distance is one metre. This is all explained on the following page on the BBC News website:

This page contains a short video that explains these rules and helps viewers to visualise distances of one metre and two metres by using examples of typical real-world objects.

The video explains that one metre is approximately any of the following:

  • a full size acoustic guitar
  • half the length of a bed
  • one long adult step

The video explains that two metres is approximately any of the following:

  • 3 steps
  • a bed
  • 2 shopping trolleys
  • half a parking space
  • 2 benches
  • 3 seats away on public transport
  • 4 desk chairs in an office

The video explains that when using ‘one metre plus’, you should wear a mask, not face each other and not stay near each other for too long.

In countless news articles on the BBC News website, a measurement in metres is typically followed by a conversion of feet in brackets. Here the BBC is educating the public about metric units and helping viewers to visualise distances in metres. It is encouraging that they have not resorted to giving imperial conversions in this video and helped viewers to become familiar with metres. It is unusual and rare to find the BBC helping the public to become familiar with metric units but we see it here. On this occasion, the BBC deserves to be praised so I say to the BBC “Well done”.

One thought on “Social distancing rules around the UK”

  1. I think it has to be remembered that the BBC is an entity and not a thinking person. It doesn’t make a choice or a decision as to which units it uses to present information. That is the choice of a person. If the people who run the BBC are pro-metric they can decide that all employees when doing BBC business must use metric only. If they are pro-imperial, then the opposite can happen.
    Of course as those who run the BBC change hands then it is possible for the decision as to what units are or can be used will change from time to time.


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