Britain is going to urgently review the two-meter social distancing rule as it attempts to help the economy recover from a 25 percent coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis collapse, finance minister Rishi Sunak mentioned.

The progress in combating the COVID-19 meant the UK was able to take a 'fresh look' at the rule that many employers have stated sis going to make it harder for them to get back up to speed, Sunak mentioned Sky News television on Sunday.

UK to Review Social Distancing Rule

Coronavirus
Workers of Junjiang Industrial Limited Company produce medical masks in Yilong New District at Bouyei-Miao Autonomous Prefecture of Qianxinan in southwest China's Guizhou Province, Feb. 21, 2020. Medical supply companies in Yilong New District have been producing medical supplies at full capacity to support the fight against the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. (Xinhua/Yang Wenbin/IANS) Xinhua/IANS

"The prime minister has put in place a comprehensive review of the two-meter rule. That review will involve the scientists, economists, and others," he said, adding that safety would not be put at risk by any changes. Reducing the distance that people must maintain to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus would mean three-quarters of pubs could reopen, rather than about one third with a two-meter rule in place.

Sunak also said that data last week showing Britain's economy shrank by a quarter over March and April "just laid bare the scale of the economic impact" of the lockdown. "We have always known that was going to happen, but now the numbers are starting to show that," Sunak said. The immediate shock to the economy from the lockdown would prove temporary and this week's reopening of the retail sector was an important step for the recovery which would be followed by the hospitality sector, he added.

(With agency inputs)