The support bubbles are designed to help ease loneliness during the lockdown.
If you’re someone who’s been isolating on their own for the past few months, we’ve got good news for you. In today’s government briefing, Boris Johnson announced that anyone from a single adult household (i.e. someone who’s been isolating on their own) will be allowed to join a new “support bubble” with one other household of any size from Saturday, June 13.
What this means is that if your flatmate got out before lockdown, leaving you alone with your collection of succulents, from Saturday you’ll be allowed to head back to your parent’s house to isolate with them. Similarly, grandparents who live alone will be able to join a larger family group, so long as that family has all been living under one roof. Once this single adult has been subsumed into the wider support bubble, they’ll be able to act as if they’ve been living in the bubble the whole time – which means they’ll be allowed to stay the night and won’t have to maintain social distancing.
Johnson explained that “we’re making this change to support those who are particularly lonely”, and the support bubbles represent the first time that households in England have been able to mix indoors. However, once you’ve joined that household, the usual rules will apply; if one person in the bubble comes down with symptoms, everyone in the bubble will need to isolate. Additionally, the government has stated that vulnerable people who are currently still shielding should not be heading off to join a wider household.
The new rules will only be applicable to some, but it shows a recognition that the lockdown has taken an especially heavy toll on those living on their own. Hopefully, guidance about when larger groups from multiple households will be allowed to follow suit will be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks – as always, we’ll keep you updated when we know more.