Scientists from the Sage advisory committee have urged the Prime Minister to increase the two-metre rule to three metres, according to a report.

The Government’s top scientific advice panel want the measure raised from "one metre plus" to "two metres plus", the Daily Mail has reported. 

The move would in effect change the limit on social distancing to three metres (almost 10ft).

Asked if a three-metre rule was being considered, a Downing Street spokesman told the newspaper: "There are no current plans to change social distancing rules. However, everything is kept under review."

It comes as Boris Johnson is considering a wave of new, tougher restrictions to stem the surge of coronavirus cases in the UK.

A further 529 deaths were reported on Monday, up 30 per cent on seven days ago, and there were more than 46,000 new cases.

Sage is encouraging the Government to introduce strict rules over concerns about compliance. Matt Hancock said on Monday evening that there were too many instances of people gathering in “large groups” in parks and other outdoor spaces.

The Government advised people in March to keep two metres apart but lowered the distance to one metre in July after the first lockdown ended.

The rule varies across the UK: in Scotland and Wales people must stay two metres apart; in Northern Ireland the gap was reduced to one metre but was increased to two metres as cases surged.