The 2m rule is bad science - and it spells disaster for us all

World

The 2m rule is bad science - and it spells disaster for us all

Poor-quality research is being used to justify this policy, with an unhealthy dose of confirmation bias

Carl Heneghan and Tom Jefferson

Queuing outside shops, dodging each other once inside, and not getting too close to other people anywhere: social distancing has become the norm. The 2m rule, however, is also seriously affecting schools, pubs, restaurants and our ability to go about our daily lives.

The British government is reviewing the policy, but what evidence is there that keeping our distance makes any difference to catching Covid-19?

The influential Lancet review on this matter provided evidence from 172 studies in support of physical distancing of 1m or more. However, all the studies were retrospective and suffer from biases that undermine the reliability of their findings...

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