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Brian Hagyard  
#1 Posted : 12 January 2021 08:52:19(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Brian Hagyard

The Mail is not my favourite sourse of info but here goes.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9136117/Scientists-urge-No10-increase-social-distancing-THREE-METRES.html

While I understand the importance of social distancing in the public health crisis cam any realy belive that this would work in public places, supermarkets etc?

Meanwhile i believe Morrisons supermarkets are to make face coverings compulsery - unless you are medically exempt.

https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/news/19002597.morrisons-issues-update-wearing-face-coverings-stores/

But as i understand it at the moment you dont need to carry proof of why you are exempt - and if you did anyone can download a card - so good luck with enforcing that one!

chris.packham  
#2 Posted : 12 January 2021 09:17:31(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris.packham

Brian,

Why two meters, why not three, or even 5?

The problem for me is that there can be no 'standard' distance that meets all circumstances. Studies have shown that the distance the the particles can range to create what I call the inhalation zone can vary depending on a range of factors. Consider I am standing behind the infected person (donor). The wind is blowing from behind me past me and then past them. They sneeze emitting the particles at high velocity but away from me. Are they really going to stop and reverse back against the wind to reach me? So here the safe distance is very small, possibly just 25cm. Now suppose I am downwind of the donor. Here the viruses can travel on the wind. I have studies showing a distance of 8 and even 10 metres could be needed. This is, of course, in the open air. Now consider a small room, no ventilation, the 'donor' sneezes. How many times would he need to sneeze to contaminate all the air in the room to a critical level? I am not decrying the potential benefit of social distancing but trying to be objective about its effectiveness. It is just one  in a whole range of measures that we need to combat the spread of the virus and the risk of infection therefrom.

thanks 2 users thanked chris.packham for this useful post.
A Kurdziel on 12/01/2021(UTC), aud on 12/01/2021(UTC)
A Kurdziel  
#3 Posted : 12 January 2021 09:29:40(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

We have been sticking to the 2 m rule at our place rather than the rather nebulous 1 m + guidance. Yesterday I had n exchange with someone who admitted that they best they can do in their area was 1.7 m (along with face coverings). I told him not worry as far as I know coronavirus family have not yet adopted metric units and that it was close enough.

There seems to be a strange obsession with having exact numbers etc. Normally at this time of the years it about what is a “reasonable temperature” in an office. This is where we as H&S professionals need to stand up and rather than blindly enforce “rules” explain to people what we are trying to achieve and rather than applying ritual magic we come up with practical solutions.

thanks 1 user thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
aud on 12/01/2021(UTC)
CptBeaky  
#4 Posted : 12 January 2021 09:30:39(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
CptBeaky

Morrisons is the only supermarketr I will shop it during this pandemic. They have easily been the best in my area. They have continued to control the numbers of shoopers in store throughout, when others have become a free-for-all. They have hand sanitiser stations around every 50m, where others only have one at the entrance that you can't use for fear of being run down by other shoppers desperate to buy their stocks of toilet paper. They have continued to limit it to one shopper per trolley/basket as opposed to being days out for the kids and family.

I am sure that, as a private business, Morrisons has the right to refuse service. This cannot be done if it violates equal rights (i.e. based on religion, race, belief system etc.) but even these can be violated if it is a matter of public safety. I am sure I have covered this before. Therefore, probably, Morrisons can enforce the face covering rule if they truly wish to. Whether it is worth the negative publicity when Granny Haddock can't get in to by her weekly groceries is another matter. Although, if you are too ill to wear a mask, then maybe supermarket shopping asn't a great idea at the moment.

thanks 1 user thanked CptBeaky for this useful post.
Connor35037 on 12/01/2021(UTC)
Roundtuit  
#5 Posted : 12 January 2021 10:22:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

I do love this need for "proof" normally endemic in the realms of H&S.

The Face Covering regulations Do Not require the exempt to either obtain or to carry proof - it is not a documented requirement within the two English versions (transport and enclosed spaces) nor their amendments.

Had a quick revisit last night when reading the article about Morrisons.

Roundtuit  
#6 Posted : 12 January 2021 10:22:53(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

I do love this need for "proof" normally endemic in the realms of H&S.

The Face Covering regulations Do Not require the exempt to either obtain or to carry proof - it is not a documented requirement within the two English versions (transport and enclosed spaces) nor their amendments.

Had a quick revisit last night when reading the article about Morrisons.

Alan Haynes  
#7 Posted : 12 January 2021 10:55:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Alan Haynes

Originally Posted by: Roundtuit Go to Quoted Post
I do love this need for "proof" normally endemic in the realms of H&S.The Face Covering regulationsDo Not require the exempt to either obtain or to carry proof - it is not a documented requirement within the two English versions (transport and enclosed spaces) northeir amendments.Had a quick revisit last night when reading the article about Morrisons.
Aaah - but do the Regs say you cannot bar people who cant prove and exemption? Stupid discussion - Well done to Morrisons and Sainsbury's for taking a stand.
Roundtuit  
#8 Posted : 12 January 2021 11:19:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

A Morrisons spokeswoman said at the time: "We are continuing to follow all government guidelines to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police added: “We will deal proportionately with any reports of people not wearing face coverings in relevant places and continue to encourage everyone to comply with the restrictions and guidance set out by the Government. Fixed Penalty Notices can also be issued if appropriate.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Updated 4th December 2020

Exemption cards - If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:

- you do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this

- you do not need show an exemption card

This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.

The regulations permit a Constable to remove someone who is failing to comply with the regulation but if they consider themselves exempt they are compliant so how would the constable be following the law?

Edited by user 12 January 2021 11:21:56(UTC)  | Reason: FFS

Roundtuit  
#9 Posted : 12 January 2021 11:19:41(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

A Morrisons spokeswoman said at the time: "We are continuing to follow all government guidelines to ensure the safety of our customers and colleagues."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Police added: “We will deal proportionately with any reports of people not wearing face coverings in relevant places and continue to encourage everyone to comply with the restrictions and guidance set out by the Government. Fixed Penalty Notices can also be issued if appropriate.”

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own

Updated 4th December 2020

Exemption cards - If you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering:

- you do not routinely need to show any written evidence of this

- you do not need show an exemption card

This means that you do not need to seek advice or request a letter from a medical professional about your reason for not wearing a face covering.

The regulations permit a Constable to remove someone who is failing to comply with the regulation but if they consider themselves exempt they are compliant so how would the constable be following the law?

Edited by user 12 January 2021 11:21:56(UTC)  | Reason: FFS

peter gotch  
#10 Posted : 12 January 2021 11:51:26(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
peter gotch

Brian

I saw the heading of your message and went googling and, surprise, surprise I found myself on the DM (like you not my preferred source of news).

So, quoting from their online version:

"Leading members of the Sage scientific advisory panel want the measure raised from 'one metre plus' to 'two metres plus'.

In practice this would change the limit to three metres – nearly 10ft. The drastic proposal came as a furious Matt Hancock denounced individuals who flout social distancing rules."

Somebody needs to go back to primary school!

Two metres plus does NOT equal 3m. Any more than one metre plus would equal 2m.

Two metres plus one metre = 3m

To be honest I had forgotten that England had moved from 2m to 1m+. I live in Scotland where the 2m signage was put up at the beginning of the lockdown and nobody has needed to replace it.

(In places the signage is getting rather worn, but for example the signage outside one of our local banks is still visible and positioned to keep the queue away from the entrance to the newsagents next door).

The number was never precise. The guidance started off as "at least 2m" which I translate as being roughly equal to 2m plus and where the UK (initially) adopted a standard roughly double that of the WHO recommendation of "at least one metre".

So, I read this message from SAGE as meaning asking for the guidance to revert to what is was before, but with SAGE's advice being translated into a headline meaning something entirely different. 

The sort of headline that might provoke outrage amongst some who have complained about restrictions often or throughout the pandemic.

For once I am broadly in agreement with Mr Hancock. The rules (and exceptions to the rules) are there for a purpose - time people stopped trying to find excuses not to observe them.

....and perhaps more focused enforcement (by "focused" I do not mean what happened last week in Derbyshire!), but with a recognition that those empowered to enforce have stretched resources.

chris42  
#11 Posted : 12 January 2021 12:58:47(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
chris42

Umm I think it is worth remembering what the “plus” actually means. When England went from 2m you could go to 1m Plus. This meant that you could be down to 1m away from someone if you also had some other protective measure in place (The plus). So the plus could be a face covering, a plastic screen etc.

It was not 1m plus some other measure.

So, if what is being suggested is “2m Plus” that is two meters and some other control. Hence people have then assumed if you go to 3m you no longer need the plus.

I’m in Wales, but job requires me to be in England for part of my duties on occasion. So here in Wales it is 2m and always have been, since the start. In England I have accepted the down to one M plus, but have suggested they stay 2m away from one another.

I’m happy for people to stay 2m away from me regardless of Covid.

 

Chris

AcornsConsult  
#12 Posted : 12 January 2021 13:18:30(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
AcornsConsult

1+m, 2m, 2+m 3m, its all the same,  There will always be those who wholly ignore it and those who kinda guess what the distance means in the practical world.  One of the comments on the news today was that in general that people have littl eidea what that distance is.  A local poster showed that if two employes put their arm up and could tough each other then they were too close.  For many it may not be quite 2m and some its a bit more, but it was a good visualisation that they could follow and a revelation to many that they thought 2m was 'arms length'!!!!. 

Edited by user 12 January 2021 13:40:43(UTC)  | Reason: typo

Holliday42333  
#13 Posted : 12 January 2021 13:46:12(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Sounds like a basic human factors type issue to me.

Lets face it any virus carrying droplets dont suddenly drop to earth and any distance figure.

So the WHO determines 1m, UK says "OK , if we want the people to do 1m best tell them 2m as many will push the boundary". 

Right now the consensus seems to be that even saying 2m is not keeing enough people apart, so guess what?  Thats right; lets consider upping the number to 3m and we might get those that push the boundaries to take another step back, thus incrementally reducuing the risk that bit more and hoping that will be enough.

Edited by user 12 January 2021 13:49:04(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

A Kurdziel  
#14 Posted : 12 January 2021 13:53:42(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

The problem with the distances is that the effective to distance ratio is not is not linear – 1 m is not half as effective a 2 m distance at stopping the spread. https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3223 is a review of the research. But making the “safe” distance 3 m will probably have little or no effect.

Holliday42333  
#15 Posted : 12 January 2021 14:34:34(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Holliday42333

Originally Posted by: A Kurdziel Go to Quoted Post

The problem with the distances is that the effective to distance ratio is not is not linear – 1 m is not half as effective a 2 m distance at stopping the spread. https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3223 is a review of the research. But making the “safe” distance 3 m will probably have little or no effect.

Agreed.  Thats what I am alluding to.  2m to 3m has little/no basis in science it is mearly a mechanism to make a certain demographic take a further step apart and get more people as far apart as originally intended.  No more, no less.

John Murray  
#16 Posted : 12 January 2021 15:01:17(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
John Murray

By this time next year, if things do not improve, the 2 metre rule may well have increased to "keep the next person to you just in sight, at night you may have to wear a flashing light"

Roundtuit  
#17 Posted : 12 January 2021 15:19:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: peter gotch Go to Quoted Post
The drastic proposal came as a furious Matt Hancock denounced individuals who flout social distancing rules."

Had the honorable member considered a first level "what if" scenario last December we would likely not be in this current mess.

- Identify a new variant

- Inform the public just before Xmas

- Warn them their travel is about to be restricted (having initially promised time to see family)

- Complain bitterly about the scenes of chaos at train stations and on the roads prior to the rules being applied

- Blame the public for spreading the disease

Dear Matt (or whoever is health secretary) change the play list

- Identify new variant

- Stop travel

- Tell the public

Roundtuit  
#18 Posted : 12 January 2021 15:19:48(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
Roundtuit

Originally Posted by: peter gotch Go to Quoted Post
The drastic proposal came as a furious Matt Hancock denounced individuals who flout social distancing rules."

Had the honorable member considered a first level "what if" scenario last December we would likely not be in this current mess.

- Identify a new variant

- Inform the public just before Xmas

- Warn them their travel is about to be restricted (having initially promised time to see family)

- Complain bitterly about the scenes of chaos at train stations and on the roads prior to the rules being applied

- Blame the public for spreading the disease

Dear Matt (or whoever is health secretary) change the play list

- Identify new variant

- Stop travel

- Tell the public

Gerry Knowles  
#19 Posted : 12 January 2021 15:55:04(UTC)
Rank: Forum user
Gerry Knowles

Lets just face it, there are too many experts advising too many politicians who are playing politics.  This has led to there not being a clear strategy across the United Kingdom.  What has made the situation worse is that the media and consulting a load of  "experts" who all have a different opinion and feeding that into the mix, the result is confusion, and miss understanding.  

Time for one set of experts to advice on set of politicians and a clear strategy to deal with the pandemic. Or would that be too simple. 

A Kurdziel  
#20 Posted : 12 January 2021 16:18:52(UTC)
Rank: Super forum user
A Kurdziel

People want an “answer” unfortunately in the real world answers like that don’t always exist. it is a matter of balancing different requirements and needs. They could completely shut the country down with nobody allowed out of the house for any reason-of course the UK would soon revert to something like the middle ages if we did that. We could have simply let the epidemic run its course which would have meant tolerating loads of additional deaths and total collapse of the health care system. There is no easy answer but people have been brought up to think they can have their cake and eat it. The media don’t help but we have politicians who just pander to this as well.

thanks 3 users thanked A Kurdziel for this useful post.
Brian Hagyard on 13/01/2021(UTC), achrn on 13/01/2021(UTC), GRYorks on 15/01/2021(UTC)
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