- People living on their own in England will be able to visit and stay with one other household as part of new coronavirus ‘support bubbles’ the UK Prime Minister has announced.
- Boris Johnson said people would be able to stay with estranged partners and family members from this weekend.
- The move comes as the UK continues to loosen its coronavirus lockdown.
- All shops will be allowed to re-open from Monday with some outdoors attractions, such as zoos, allowed to re-open.
- Former UK scientific adviser Neil Ferguson said on Wednesday that Britain’s late lockdown may have caused tens of thousands of extra deaths.
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People in England who live alone will be able to visit and stay over with one other household as part of new coronavirus “support bubbles,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
Johnson on Wednesday afternoon said that as of Saturday, June 13, people who live alone, as well as single parents, will be able to join up with one other household in England to form a “support bubble.”
People within that bubble will not have to follow social distancing rules when together, meaning they’ll be able to be within two metres of each other, have physical contact, and stay overnight at each other’s houses.
“All those within a social bubble will be able to act as if if they live within the same house, meaning they can spend time in each other’s homes, and do not need to stay two metres apart,” Johnson said.
“They must be exclusive, meaning you can’t switch the household you are connecting with. And if any member develops symptoms, all members of the bubble would need to follow the normal advice on household isolation.”
The rule is designed to be help people who have lived alone during the UK’s lockdown.
For example, it will allow elderly individuals who live alone to spend time with children and grandchildren who all live in another household. It also means some couples who live separately will have more freedoms when together.
“All of those who are in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household,” a spokesman for Johnson confirmed.
The UK prime minister announced the news at the UK government’s coronavirus press conference.
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His UK government is in the process of gradually relaxing lockdown measures in England as the number of COVID-19 cases, hospital admissions, and deaths continues to decrease.
As of Monday, non-essential shops will be able to allowed to open again, while from next month pubs and restaurants are expected to start re-opening in time for the summer.
The announcement came as former UK scientific adviser Neil Ferguson told a parliamentary committee that the UK could have saved tens of thousands of lives if the prime minister had brought in the lockdown just one week earlier.
Ferguson told the Science and Technology Committee that an earlier lockdown could have reduced the number of deaths in the UK by at least half.
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