Social distancing – How does this vary with other control measures in place?
Ventilation is likely to be more important than distancing when people are more than 1m apart and share a room for longer periods of time.
There is likely to be a reduction in exposure beyond 2-3m as some of the particles start to settle out of the air. (Visualising SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes and mitigations | The BMJ )However, this can vary depending on the ventilation and the temperature and humidity in a room.
The exposure to respiratory particles that carry viruses also depends on the amount of time spent in a room. This means that when people are more than 1m apart and share the same indoor space for longer periods of time (over 30 min), the ventilation of the room is likely to be more important than physical distancing.
Screens can be beneficial for reducing exposure to respiratory viruses during short duration (less than 5 min) face to face interactions. Therefore, they can be useful in situations where people have brief face to face conversations such as a cashier or receptionist.
However, the smaller respiratory particles are carried by the air around the screen and can still allow airborne transmission to happen. In some situations where people share a room for a longer period, a screen may increase this airborne risk as the screen creates pockets of higher particle concentration.