As lockdown restrictions are eased further, people across the UK can now set up support bubbles.
The aim is to help people who’ve been cut off from friends and family.
Those inside a support bubble count as one household and do not have to socially distance from one another.
What is a support bubble?
A bubble is defined as a group of people with whom you have close physical contact. The idea was first introduced in New Zealand.
Single adults living alone – or single parents whose children are under 18 – can now form a support bubble with one other household.
The second household can be of any size and can now include people who are shielding.
The independent advisory group Sage has been asked to examine if, when and how people might safely be allowed to expand their bubbles.
What are the support bubble rules?
Support bubbles must be “exclusive”. Once in one, you can’t switch and start another with a different household.
People in each bubble can stay in each other’s homes and do not have to socially distance. They count as one household, which means that in England a further household is now allowed to stay overnight with them.
Anyone in the bubble contacted as part of England’s test and trace programme must stay at home. If they develop coronavirus symptoms, everyone in the bubble must self-isolate.