Support bubbles in national lockdown: What you need to know

6 January 2021, 12:24 | Updated: 6 January 2021, 15:14

Covid support bubbles: How they work during the third lockdown
Covid support bubbles: How they work during the third lockdown. Picture: PA

By Zoe Adams

Who can make a support bubble during the coronavirus lockdown 3? Are support bubbles the same as childcare bubbles? Here’s the latest rules on households joining.

Coronavirus lockdown three in the UK means limiting all social contact once more, so what does that mean for support bubbles?

Since the first Covid-19 lockdown, the government allowed more vulnerable people and households to form support bubbles in order to prevent further isolation from the social distancing and rules put in place.

Now, as the UK faces it’s third national lockdown, and with the introduction of childcare bubbles mid 2020, there’s a lot of questions around the formation of support bubbles.

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Who can make a support bubble? Can you travel far for a support bubble? Can you have a child care bubble and a support one? Here’s the latest rules and guidance:

Boris Johnson confirmed a six-week lockdown at the beginning of January 2021
Boris Johnson confirmed a six-week lockdown at the beginning of January 2021. Picture: PA

What is a support bubble?

This is a support network which allows two households to link together and act as one household. There are now strict rules you must follow to form a support network like this and if you do not meet the requirements, it is against the law.

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

If someone in your support bubble contracts coronavirus, you must all isolate. The government recommends you form a bubble with someone who lives locally to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Who can make a support bubble during the coronavirus lockdown?

You can form a support bubble if:

- You live by yourself.

- You are the only adult in your house who doesn’t need continuous care as a result of disability.

- Your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on December 2, 2020.

- Your household includes a child under five with a disability who requires continuous care.

- You are aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults.

- You can form a support bubble if you are a single living adult with one or more children under the age of 18.

Social and childcare bubbles are permitted with strict rules in the new lockdown
Social and childcare bubbles are permitted with strict rules in the new lockdown. Picture: PA

Can you form a support bubble and childcare bubble?

You can but again, there are strict rules around how they must operate.

A childcare bubble is when two households link to provide informal childcare to anyone under the age of 14.

The Government say you should avoid meeting with members of your childcare and social bubble at the same time.