Boris Johnson's 'support bubbles' plan lifts sex ban for adults living alone

10 June 2020, 18:36

By Maddie Goodfellow

Boris Johnson has announced that adults living alone in England can now form "support bubbles" with another household, effectively lifting the government's 'sex ban'.

The new rules, which come into place from this weekend, mean that couples who live in separate homes can now meet up in each other's houses.

The new rules mean that as long as one half of the couple lives alone, they can 'join up' with their partner's household and visit them.

They will also not have to abide by social distancing rules inside the house.

Previously, government guidelines made it illegal to have sex with someone you don't live with inside your own home.

The new rules apply to adults who live alone or single parents with children under 18, but does not apply to adults who live apart but in households of more than one person.

Couples that both live with other people will still have to meet outside and maintain social distancing.

The move also means that couples who live far apart can stay over at each other's houses, provided one lives alone or with children under 18.

Some couples who do not live together will now be able to meet up
Some couples who do not live together will now be able to meet up. Picture: PA

Speaking at the daily press conference, Boris Johnson said: "There are still too many people, particularly those who live by themselves who are lonely and struggling with being unable to see friends and family.

"From this weekend we will allow single adult households, that’s adults living alone or single parents with children under 18, to form a support bubble with one other household.

"All those inner support bubbles will be able to act as though they are the same household, meaning they can stay inside each others homes and do not need to stay 2 metres apart.

"The changes will not apply to those who are shielding and are designed to combat loneliness."

All couples could previously only meet up in public
All couples could previously only meet up in public. Picture: PA

The Prime Minister continued: "Support bubbles must be exclusive, meaning you can’t switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with multiple."

He also clarified: "If any member develops symptoms, all members will need to follow normal advice on household isolation. We are making this change to support those who are particularly lonely as a result of lockdown. It’s a targeted intervention to limit the most harmful effects of the current restrictions."

"It is emphatically not designed for people who don’t qualify to start meeting inside other peoples homes because  that remains against the law. Unfortunately we cannot advise anyone who is shielding to form a support bubble at this stage given their particular vulnerability to the virus.

"I know how hard it is for those of you who are shielding, we will say more next week for the arrangements that will be in place for you.’

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty added: "The idea of the bubbles is for families that have a single adult in the household, so if this applied to families with a single adult in the household that would be covered by what the Prime Minister just talked about.

"For other people it’s largely going to have to be meeting outside and socially distanced because the risk of transmission is much lower.

"Bubbling is about single households or lone parents, then there’s meeting outside for other people."