Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

What are single support bubbles and who can I meet?

NEW Government rules about single "support bubbles" have come into effect on June 13.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that single people living alone – or with children under 18 – can form a support bubble with another family or household.

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So what are the rules, and who can you meet, and when?

The PM said on June 10: "There are too many people, particularly those who live by themselves who are lonely and struggling with being unable to see friends and family.

"From this weekend we will allow single adult households, living alone, or single parents with children under 18, to form a support bubble with one other household."

Who do the new rules apply to?

Anyone who lives alone at the moment will be able to form a new bubble with another household – of any size – from Saturday, June 13.

It will mean grandparents who live alone can finally see their grandchildren again.

And single parents with kids can form a bubble with another house too – so they can stay overnight, help with childcare or provide much needed support.

Any lone parent with kids under 18 is classed as single.

The new lockdown changes are thought to affect around to 8.2 million people across the country.

Do I have to stay two metres apart from them?

No. You can visit them in their own home, stay overnight, and you don't need to stay apart.

Basically, they can act as though they are a part of your household

You can travel between their house and yours, or they can move in with your family.

Can I bubble up with more than one household?

No, you can pick only one and see them as much as you like.

You can't swap in and out of multiple households.

However, you don't have to move in with your new bubble – it's OK to travel back and forth to see them.

This can technically be as far as you like, but officials stressed that having a local bubble would be better.

Single people will have to pick just one household to visit – which could include the heartbreaking choice of which children or grandchildren to see.

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What about if I am meant to be shielding?

The Government does not advise that people should form bubbles if they are shielding because they are extremely clinically vulnerable.

At the moment there are no changes for that guidance.

Shielding Brits can now go outside but still must keep 2metres apart from everyone.

What if one of us gets sick?

Then the whole bubble will have to isolate together for 14 days.

Anyone who develops symptoms should be tested for the virus.

Where do the new rules apply?

Only in England at the moment.

Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland has suggested that she is looking at social bubbles for people north of the border, but it's not yet been announced.

So far Wales and Northern Ireland have no confirmed plans for bubbles yet either.

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