Westminster Bubble introducing new “Support Bubbles” to help ease loneliness during the lockdown.
If you are someone who has been isolating alone for the past couple of months, we have good news for you. Boris Johnson revealed in today’s policy briefing that someone from a single adult household (i.e. anyone who’s isolated on their own) would be able to access a new “support bubble” with another household of any size starting Saturday, June 13.
What this means is that if your flatmate got out before lockdown, leaving you alone with your selection of succulents, from Saturday, you’d be allowed to go back to your parent’s house to isolate with them. Similarly, grandparents who live alone will be able to join a larger group, so long as that group has all been living under one roof. Once this single adult has been subsumed into the broader support bubble, they’ll be able to act as if they’ve been living in the bubble the whole time – which implies they’ll be permitted to stay the night and won’t have to keep social distancing.
Johnson emphasised that “we’re making this change to help those who are particularly lonely”, and the support bubbles is the first time that households in England have been authorised to mix indoors. However, once you’ve joined that household, the usual rules will apply; if one person in the bubble starts having symptoms, everyone in the bubble will have to isolate. Additionally, the government has said that vulnerable people who are currently still shielding should not be travelling off to join another household.
The new rules will only be applicable to some, but it reveals a recognition that the lockdown has taken a hefty toll on those living on their own. Hopefully, direction about when bigger groups from multiple households will be permitted to follow suit will be coming in the next couple of weeks – as always, we will keep you updated as we know more.