26 feet for a sneeze. Obviously the 6 ft social distancing limit is too shot.

  • The public are being advised to keep distance of at least 6ft 6in from eachother
  • But study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology says it is too small
  • The gap needs to be four times bigger, at around 26 feet  
  • The highly contagious coronavirus is spread via droplets in the air   
  • Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?

The UK’s coronavirus social distancing limit is at least four times too short, a study has warned.

The public are currently being asked to keep a distance from each other of at least 6ft 6in.

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But a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests the gap should be four times bigger at around 26 feet.

The study, which was reported by the Telegraph, found that viral droplets expelled in coughs and sneezes can travel in a moist, warm atmosphere at speeds of between 33 and 100ft per second (ten metres to 100 metres).

This creates a cloud within the atmosphere that can span approximately 23ft to 27ft (seven metres to eight metres) to neighbouring people.

It has also been warned that droplets, which contribute to the rapid spread of covid-19, can remain suspended in the air for several hours.

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And their direction can easily be changed by air ventilation systems to create ‘turbulent clouds of air.’

Many people are now finding themselves in close quarters with others on a daily basis, with supermarkets still feeling the effects of mass panic buying of products.

In London, despite persistent calls from the Government for only essential workers to continue with the morning commute, images have revealed packed carriages on the London Underground.

The authors of the MIT study offered further clarity on their findings, and detailed why social distancing needs to be increased within the Journal of the American Medical Association (Jama).