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A new guide to Covid-era etiquette has been published by the Scottish government advising people to back away from awkward confrontations and use “subtle reminders” if someone breaks the rules on physical distancing.
The eight-page Covid guide to pandemic politeness urges the reader to assume that the other person has not noticed they are infringing the rules or their personal space.
It offers a series of scenarios including one where “a stranger in the supermarket is way too close”, in which case it suggests saying: “I’ll step back and give you some space – it’s tricky in busy spaces to keep 2 metres, isn’t it?”
Describing itself as a “light-hearted twist” on the etiquette manual, the guide said its underpinning principle was that “framing what you say as an offer rather than a request will help to reduce tension or offence while still changing the outcome of an encounter”.
If the same happens on a bus or train, the guide recommends saying: “I’m happy to move if that’s easier for you.” If a family member is walking too close to you, “a subtle reminder may be all that is needed”. The guide suggests this phrase: “Sorry, I know this is a bit odd, isn’t it, having to stay apart. I’ll just move back a little and that’ll keep us right.”
If a friend sees you in a coffee shop and takes off their mask to say hello: “Always assume that people have the best intentions, and that they may have forgotten or misunderstood the current guidance. In this situation, you could offer an explanation and an alternative.” The guide recommends saying, “Let’s catch up outside? Where there’s space to keep a wee distance.”
Twitter users reacted with scorn and disbelief, with one describing it as “passive aggressive”. A Conservative councillor in Milngavie, Glasgow, tweeted: “This is getting beyond embarrassing now. The Scottish government is treating the population like infants, never mind children.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Scottish government issues ‘light-hearted’ guide to Covid etiquette | UK news