SCOTLAND’s two-metre social distancing rule will not change for the time-being and will remain in place before experts investigating any potential changes publish their findings. 

Political opponents have accused Nicola Sturgeon of risking Scotland being “left behind socially and economically” after Boris Johnson announced that the two-metre rule in England will be cut in half from July 4. But the change does not apply in Scotland. 

Ms Sturgeon has said that she has not seen the scientific advice that Mr Johnson has been given to be able to change the advice on social distancing – after businesses have lobbied leaders north and south of the border to relax the rules. 

READ MORE: Coronavirus: PM reduces 2m rule in England and announces 'great unlocking' of most businesses

The First Minister said that her advisory group has been asked to draw up in what situations it could be possible “to accept the risk of people not keeping to a two-metre distance” - and will report back findings by July 2. 

She added: "Until then, the position here in Scotland remains the same. We are advising people to maintain two metres' physical distancing. 

"Any changes announced today for other parts of the UK, while we will look at the evidence underpinning those very carefully, will not apply here at this stage." 

Ms Sturgeon has pointed to some “potential mitigations if you allow for flexibility around two metres” 

She said: “It could be face coverings, it could be having more Perspex screens in certain settings, it could be changing seating patterns indoors in certain circumstances. 

“Basically, it might mean it is different in one setting to another setting. In hospitality it could involve taking names and addresses of people who go indoors, should there be an outbreak of the virus or if somebody proves positive, there is an ability to quickly trace the others that have been there at the same time.” 

The Scottish Conservatives have criticised the more cautious approach being taken by Ms Sturgeon in relaxing physical distancing rules. 

READ MORE: Scottish health boards told to assume Covid-19 antibodies do not offer immunity

Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw said: “There’s no doubt that elsewhere in the UK things are really beginning to happen. The risk now is that Scotland is left behind socially and economically. 

“It will be very difficult for people here to look on as England, and indeed the rest of Europe, begins a return to normal.” 

He added: “It will also be very costly for businesses, industries like tourism and hospitality, and the mental health of the nation. 

“The people of Scotland will not accept a go-slow approach from Nicola Sturgeon much longer.” 

Ms Sturgeon has indicated she will announce more details on easing lockdown restrictions on Wednesday, ahead of when she had planned to do so. 

She said: "Tomorrow, I'll be able to provide further detail on the timing of some of the specific steps in that journey. 

"I'll be able to do so tomorrow ahead of when I thought just a few days ago that might be possible."