Social bubbles and garden parties could be a thing by the end of June.
After Boris Johnson signalled the move on Sunday, a clearer picture is starting to emerge around what “Stage 2” of lockdown easing measures might look like. Following yesterday’s announcement that non-essential shops will be permitted to reopen on June 15, new reports are alleging that the government is considering permitting garden parties, barbecues, and small outdoor gatherings of ten people by the end of next month.
According to reports in The Telegraph, plans are currently being drawn up which would allow people from separate households to meet as part of small “social bubbles”. Under such a plan, you could expand your bubble to include other groups of family and friends that you could meet outside your home – for instance, your parents, siblings, and friends in other houses – with up to ten people included in said bubbles.
The same plan would allow us to hang out with these people at garden parties, barbecues, and “small social gatherings outdoors”, per The Telegraph. The move was apparently unveiled at Monday’s cabinet meeting, with a government spokesperson telling the paper that ministers remained “open to the idea” of social bubbles. Meeting outdoors is favoured as a means of keeping the virus transmission rate as low as possible, and the implementation of these measures will also depend on keeping the reproduction (R) number low in the meantime.
This new development would be a big step forward for locked-down Mancs, many of whom haven’t seen family members in weeks, and would represent another significant move out of the UK lockdown. Any concrete information on when the measures might come into effect, and the rules around social bubbles, is yet to be seen, so hopefully the government will begin spelling out some further details in the next few days. We will of course keep you updated with further news.