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Shropshire MP calls for re-think on two-metre social distancing and quarantine policy

By Mark Andrews | North Shropshire | Coronavirus | Published:

A Shropshire MP called on the Government to rethink its social-distancing policy, saying it is causing great harm to the county's tourism and hospitality industries.

Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson, MP for North Shropshire, said the present two-metre rule should be reduced to just one metre.

Mr Paterson also called for a rethink on the 14-day quarantine policy announced by the Home Secretary last month.

It comes as the MP was forced into isolation for the second time since the coronavirus outbreak after family members showed symptoms.

He had been due to return to the House of Commons yesterday as parliament reopened for a crucial vote.

But Mr Paterson, who spent more than two weeks in isolation during March and April after showing the symptoms of coronavirus himself, said he had been left with little choice but to stay at home for a second time after family members developed symptoms.

Mr Paterson said the policies needed to be amended to protect the public against the spread of the virus while enabling the economy to recover from the effects of the lockdown.

"The quarantine policy as currently proposed would cause enormous damage to the UK’s economic recovery," said Mr Paterson.

"It needs rethinking so that people can travel subject to sensible safety constraints."

He added that reducing the social distancing guidelines of keeping two metres apart to just one metre, as recommended by the World Health Organisation, would reduce the impact on the hospitality trade.

Mark Andrews

By Mark Andrews
@MAndrews_Star

Senior news writer for the Shropshire Star specialising in in-depth features and commentary, investigative reporting and political matters.

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