The government is continuing to advise 2m distancing over 1m distancing, as some restrictions on socialising begin to be lifted.

Starting Monday, groups of up to six people will be allowed to meet outdoors, but only if they maintain a 2m distance. The advice was delivered during a press conference with Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance and Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty.

Some industries have called for 1m distancing over 2m, saying it would allow more of the economy to reopen and save businesses from closure. The Night Time Industries Association says that 64% of night time businesses such as clubs and bars will be unviable under 2m distancing.

Sir Patrick Vallance commented: “Two metres is a distance beyond which things are very safe. But of course its not an absolute.”

Yvonne Doyle, Medical Director of Public Health England (PHE), says the organisation is currently amassing evidence and will be looking at “whether two metres is actually necessary, or could it be reduced further.”

The current advice from the World Health Organisation is to “maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and others.”

Currently, distancing recommendations vary across different countries. Hong Kong, Singapore, France and China all say 1m apart is enough. Australia, Germany and the Netherlands recommend 1.5m distancing.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson added: “We can confidently allow more interaction outside. We know it poses less of a risk than indoors.”