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Government lockdown review: Are support bubbles still allowed in lockdown 3 – Essex Live

https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/government-lockdown-review-support-bubbles-4876882

The current lockdown may feel very similar to the one back in March but there are some key differences.

It’s hard for many families to imagine now but back at the start of the pandemic, support bubbles didn’t exist.

It wasn’t actually until June when the policy was first introduced – three months after the first lockdown began.

The idea for the support bubble was created for families and friends to join with one-single-person household and effectively become one.

It came as a massive support line and lifesaver to thousands across the country, as they dealt with the months that followed.

But with the UK facing its “most dangerous time” with the next few weeks being the “worst of the pandemic” according to England’s chief medical officer – suggestions for stricter restrictions have been made.

Axing support bubbles would take England back to March and understandably upset and worry thousands of residents who rely on that support.

Others have argued it may be essential where so much of the public is abusing the definition and bending the rules to suit their needs.

What is a support bubble?

It’s worth asking – because a lot of people have been confused by the definition of a support bubble.

The government states: “A support bubble is a support network which links two households.

“You have to meet certain eligibility rules to form a support bubble. This means not everyone will be able to form a support bubble.”

Once you are in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in one ‘household’, meaning you can have close contact with the other household in your bubble as if they were members of your own household.

The government advises if you form a support bubble, it is best if this is with a household who live locally as it will help prevent the virus spreading from an area where more people are infected.

So, who can actually make a support bubble?

A stock photo of a family enjoy Christmas time together

The Christmas bubble rules were scrapped for most residents in Essex

Simply put, not everybody can form a support bubble.

However, on December 2, the government extended the rules to include more people.

You can form a support bubble with another household of any size if:

  • you live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
  • you are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability
  • your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2 December 2020
  • your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5, or was under that age on December 2 2020
  • you are aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults
  • you are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12 June 2020

You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble.

If you share custody of a child with someone you do not live with, the child can move freely between both parents’ households too.

How many cases of Covid-19 are there near you? Find out using this tool:

What happens if someone in my bubble tests positive?

If anyone in your support bubble develops symptoms for coronavirus or tests positive for the disease, you must stay at home and isolate.

This is absolutely critical to control the virus and keep everyone safe and prevent it spreading to other households.