Households across the country rejoiced when government rules relaxed on Saturday 13 June 2020, allowing them to form a ‘support bubble’ with another household. The change will bring together many people who live alone with a household able to help them, but before you run round for a cuddle with Gran, there’s important information you need to know.
For those who have spent the lockdown period in solitary confinement, the announcement is bound to have been a happy one. It provides households the opportunity to support those living alone in different households as though they were living together. However, there are key principles to bear in mind and these are essential for keeping everyone safe.
Whoever you choose to form a bubble with, you must restrict contact to only the people inside that bubble. Whether you form a bubble with your grandmother, grandfather, romantic partner, close friend or a neighbour who lives alone, you must not then form another bubble with a friend in a different household. The same applies in reverse; if you live alone and form a bubble with another household, you must restrict yourself to only that household. Once you have formed your bubble, you may spend time with your chosen person or family indoors or outdoors, hug them and stay overnight, in exactly the same way you would if you were sharing one household.
However, if any of you display symptoms of coronavirus at any time, or if any of you discovers you have been in contact with someone else who is displaying symptoms, everyone in the bubble must isolate.
If you or someone else in your household is shielding due to increased vulnerability to the coronavirus, you should not form a bubble with another household and should continue to maintain a strict two-metre distance from anyone, including other people in your own household, at all times.
For more details on forming ‘support bubbles’, visit the government webpage.