Keep 'three fridges' apart when social distancing, says No 10

22 May 2020, 16:45 | Updated: 22 May 2020, 20:39

The government&squot;s advice is to keep "three fridges" apart
The government's advice is to keep "three fridges" apart. Picture: 10 Downing Street
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A No 10 social media post has told people to keep "three fridges" or "four chairs" apart when social distancing.

The government's latest social distancing advice was met with a torrent of ridicule and confusion after it was posted online earlier today.

In a post on the UK Prime Minister's official Twitter account, people were told to "keep two metres apart" when they go outside, guidance which has been in place since lockdown measures were introduced on 23 March.

The advert, which appeared this morning, explains that people can keep apart by two metres, which is the equivalent to "One bed. Two benches. Three fridges. Four chairs."

"However you measure it, keep two metres apart," the post states.

The government's message of "Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives" is written underneath.

Twitter users flocked to ridicule the use of fridges as a unit of measurement.

One person posted: "We know the PM likes fridges but please don’t forget the 9 red squirrels and the two Swaledale sheep please."

Attached to the caption is a picture of the Yorkshire Dales National Park's advice, which says "a little space goes a long way."

The image then shows what two metres might look like in real terms.

It explains that the distance is equivalent to nine red squirrels lined up in a row, three spaniels, two Swaledale ewes, or the width of one land rover.

Another, in reference to the popular Twelve Days of Christmas song, replied: "5 GOOOOLD RINGS!"

One person has questioned the maths behind the post, saying that three 60cm wide fridges would be 180cm and three 70cm fridges would be 210cm, with neither adding up to two metres.

Another user said they preferred the Canadian version of social distancing, which represents two metres as the length of one caribou.

However, it also advises people to stay at least 90 metres away from actual caribou, which is about 135 fridges, or 405 red squirrels.

However, one angry user was not as impressed with the new advice.

He asked: "What the hell are you on about? Is there any chance of serious governance?

"You seem to simultaneously believe you need to tell people how far two meters is in fridges, but also that they have the 'common sense' to make complex risk-based decisions without information.

"Really?!"

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