What is a lockdown 'social bubble' and what does it mean for single people?
11 June 2020, 13:25
What are the new rules around support bubbles? Do I have to social distance with those in my support bubble? And who does it apply to?
On Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced people in England who live alone will be soon be allowed to form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household.
This means that people who have spent almost three months under lockdown alone, will now be able to visit their loved ones as of Saturday 13th June.
But was is a ‘support bubble’? And what does it mean?
What is a support bubble?
From Saturday 13th June, anyone who lives alone - or has children under 18 - will be able to form a new ‘bubble’ with another household of any size.
This bubble is a small circle of people you can socialise with exclusively, meaning you can visit them in their own home, stay overnight, and you don't need to social distance.
You can travel between their house and yours as much as you like, or they can move in with your family.
The idea is that by mixing with a small number of people, you will minimise the spread of coronavirus and the risk of infection.
So for the first time in three months, grandparents who live alone can see their grandchildren again, provided they are not shielding.
The Government advises those who are shielding should continue to do so because they are vulnerable.
Single parents with kids can also form a bubble with another house to help with childcare and provide support, while romantic partners who live apart could finally be able to reunite.
You can only pick one household and you may see them as much as you like, but can't swap in and out of multiple households.
If someone in the household develops coronavirus symptoms, then the whole bubble will have to isolate together for 14 days.
Who does a support bubble apply to?
The new lockdown changes only apply to people in England who live alone and to single parents who live with children under the age of 18.
First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon recently said she is looking at social bubbles for Scotland, but nothing has been confirmed.
Wales and Northern Ireland also have no confirmed plans for bubbles.