‘Support Bubbles’ for single households: how do they work?

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Yesterday, during the daily Downing Street briefing, the Prime Minister revealed a new measure termed “support bubbles” as part of his plans to ease lockdown restrictions and to combat loneliness.

From this Saturday (13th June), single adult households or a single parent with a child under the age of 18 can form a “support bubble” with one other household. This means that they are deemed to be one household in accordance with the lockdown rules. They can stay overnight and interact as they normally would without observing the social distancing rules.

Examples of “support bubbles” can include:

  • Single parents forming a bubble with their parents or a friend in order to share with childcare duties
  • A grandparent living alone forming a bubble with one of their children so they can interact with their grandchildren
  • Couples who live apart forming a bubble provided one of them lives alone

Children of separated parents could potentially be part of two bubbles, one for each parent, provided the parents are the only adult in their respective home. This new measure will however prove difficult for parents who each have partners or another adult within their household. Where separated parents have shared Parental Responsibility, they should consult with the other parent if they suspect that forming bubbles could be an area for disagreement.

Only one bubble can be formed per household and those shielding due to underlying health conditions cannot take part.

If a member of the “support bubble” begins to develop symptoms of COVID-19 then all members must self-isolate for a period of 14 days.

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