What are the rules on seeing family and grandparents under new social distancing guidelines?

27 May 2020, 12:15

The rules on seeing people not in your household during lockdown (stock images)
The rules on seeing people not in your household during lockdown (stock images). Picture: Getty

Rules and guidance on seeing grandparents, family and friends under social distancing guidelines.

The UK was put into lockdown on 23 March, with the public being told to only leave the house for essential work, once-daily exercise, and to buy food and medical supplies.

On 10 May, Boris Johnson announced that measures would gradually be lifted over the coming months as part of a phased lifting of lockdown.

Read more: What is level two of UK lockdown and what will happen in the next phase?

Phase one saw unlimited exercise and a return to work (for those who cannot do so from home) allowed, and a 50-page document outlined how further restrictions would lift.

What are the rules on seeing grandparents and family?

Prior to Boris' announcement, members of the public were unable to meet up with anyone who wasn't in their household. including grandparents and other family members.

However, people in England are now allowed to meet up with one person at a time from another household, provided they do so outside and stay two metres apart.

The strategy says that "the risk of infection outside is significantly lower than inside", which means that rules have been updated: "so that, as well as exercise, people can now also spend time outdoors subject to: not meeting up with any more than one person from outside your household; [and] continued compliance with social distancing guidelines to remain two metres (6ft) away from people outside your household".

Many people have been keeping in touch via video call since lockdown began (stock image)
Many people have been keeping in touch via video call since lockdown began (stock image). Picture: Getty

What will happen with the 'social bubble' system?

There are reports that the government is considering bringing in a system that would allow people to mix with 'bubbles' of people outside their household - subject to social distancing guidelines.

These measures could be brought in as early as next month, and they could see the public allowed to mix with up to 10 people outdoors.

Read more: Garden parties and BBQs 'could be allowed within weeks' under new lockdown plans

The plan reads, according to the Telegraph: "In addition, the Government is also examining how to enable people to gather in slightly larger groups to better facilitate small weddings.

"Over the coming weeks, the Government will engage on the nature and timing of the measures in this step, in order to consider the widest possible array of views on how best to balance the health, economic and social effects."

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What is a social bubble, how do they work, and is the UK Government going to use them?