Home News Three tier lockdown: Who can be in your support bubble?

Three tier lockdown: Who can be in your support bubble?

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People wearing face masks walk past a advertisement on Market Street in Manchester
Caption: People wearing face masks walk past an ad on Market Street in Manchester (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

The Government this week introduced a tiered local lockdown system for England, which can be tightened or relaxed depending on the rate of coronavirus infections in a particular area at any specific time.

There are three tiers: medium (tier one), high (tier two), and very high (tier three).

In tiers two and three, the lockdown rules include a ban on households mixing indoors, but what can you do if you’ve formed a support bubble?

What are support bubbles and who can I form one with?

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Single parents with children who were under the age of 18 on June 12 2020, and people who are living alone are allowed to form an alliance with one other household of any size, as long as nobody is shielding.

This is a support bubble, and its purpose is to stave off loneliness.

Members of a bubble can behave as if they were members of a single household. They can visit each other’s home without social distancing, stay overnight, and visit public places together.

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If someone in either one of the households in a support bubble develops coronavirus symptoms, all members of the bubble will need to self-isolate.

Furthermore, support bubbles can only be formed between two households, and they cannot be changed at any point. If a support bubble is disbanded, you cannot form a new one.

Support bubble rules in tiers 1, 2 and 3

If you’re part of a support bubble, you can continue to behave as if you’re part of a single household with other members of the bubble in all three local lockdown tiers.

If you’re not part of a support bubble, the following rules apply:

Under tier one of lockdown – which most areas in England will remain under at the moment – you can meet people both indoors and outdoors, providing you follow the rule of six.

Under tier two lockdown rules you’re only allowed to meet up with people you don’t live with (or have not formed a support bubble with) outdoors, and as long as you follow the rule of six.

You can only meet indoors with your household or support bubble.

Under the third tier, you can only meet people you don’t live with in specific public outdoor spaces, such as parks, beaches, public gardens and outdoor sports courts, but mixing in some outdoor venues, like private gardens, is banned.

MORE: The North-South divide is only being strengthened by lockdown tiers

MORE: Tier 2 ‘worst of both worlds’ for London’s 10,000 pubs and restaurants

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