The government has been mocked over a bizarre tweet saying that the 2-metre coronavirus social distancing rule is equivalent to “3 fridges”.
People in England are currently allowed to meet up with one person outside of their household as long as they stay 2m apart.
In an apparent attempt to help the public understand the rules, Boris Johnson’s official Twitter account shared a list of items of equivalent length.
Keep 2 metres apart when you go outside. That’s:— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) May 22, 2020
🔴 1 bed
🔴 2 benches
🔴 3 fridges
🔴 4 chairs#StayAlert
The tweet from the No.10 account read: “Keep 2 metres apart when you go outside.
“That’s 1 bed, 2 benches, 3 fridges, 4 chairs.”
Twitter users were quick to respond to the statement - with many highlighting the fact fridges come in various shapes and sizes.
Some people were worried they didn’t have a fridge....
Oh god. I've only got one fridge. This whole social distancing measure is giving me status anxiety.— Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) May 22, 2020
And then there's the challenge of carrying the bed with you when you go outside to check you're not too close. I could probably manage a single, but that's not big enough is it.. https://t.co/n3AR1SH5LH
What happens if I don’t have 3 fridges? Can I have a fridge and 2 chairs? Someone who is good at the economy please help me budget this my family is dying— Josh (@J0shSimpson) May 22, 2020
For some, it highlighted the confused messages the government has been criticised for
Am confused about apparently standardised bench size https://t.co/festlxAHZf— Hugo Rifkind (@hugorifkind) May 22, 2020
So. Let me get this straight. This bench is about the size of a fridge? pic.twitter.com/EFQwXMISKF— Stu #Staying Alert (@chantal_oiseau) May 22, 2020
Others referenced the prime minister entering a fridge to avoid being interviewed in December 2019
Boris Johnson certainly knows the size of a fridge. https://t.co/dNeBFlnqH3— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) May 22, 2020
Because it's easier to gauge the length of 3 invisible fridges* on the floor, out of context, than it is 2m.— Richard Littler (@richard_littler) May 22, 2020
*comes with free hiding PM https://t.co/nDSfLhGTt2
Meanwhile, some had far more serious critiques of the social distancing ‘measurement’ tool
It was not obvious to all those people on the beaches on Wednesday. Too much reliance on ‘common sense’ - not a great English attribute.— Heather Squire (@SquireHeather) May 22, 2020
Just say 2 metres and get serious about it. People aren't thick - they are just think the rules don't apply to them.— 🌈 Steve 🚹--------------------🚹 (@wohyeahwohyeah) May 22, 2020