Social distancing by two metres may not be enough to prevent contracting the coronavirus, experts have warned.
Currently the UK government's advise is to stay two metres apart in the fight against COVID-19.
But a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) warns that may not be enough as contagious droplets can travel for eight metres.
The study reads: "Given the turbulent puff cloud dynamic model, recommendations for separations of 3 to 6 feet (1-2 m) may underestimate the distance, timescale, and persistence over which the cloud and its pathogenic payload travel, thus generating an under-appreciated potential exposure range for a health care worker.
"For these and other reasons, wearing of appropriate personal protection equipment is vitally important for health care workers caring for patients who may be infected, even if they are farther than 6 feet away from a patient."
It continued: "Turbulent gas cloud dynamics should influence the design and recommended use of surgical and other masks.
"These masks can be used both for source control (ie, reducing spread from an infected person) and for protection of the wearer (ie, preventing spread to an unaffected person).
"The protective efficacy of N95 masks depends on their ability to filter incoming air from aerosolized droplet nuclei.
"However, these masks are only designed for a certain range of environmental and local conditions and a limited duration of usage.
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"Mask efficacy as source control depends on the ability of the mask to trap or alter the high-momentum gas cloud emission with its pathogenic payload.
"Peak exhalation speeds can reach up to 33 to 100 feet per second (10-30 m/s), creating a cloud that can span approximately 23 to 27 feet (7-8 m)."
The coronavirus has so far claimed 759 deaths in the UK so far, with almost 15,000 infected.
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