PM announces 'support bubbles' plan and confirms zoos and all shops can reopen from Monday

10 June 2020, 17:16

Rachael Kennedy

By Rachael Kennedy

Single adult households in England will be able to form a 'support bubble' with one other household from this weekend, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.

Among a series of significant announcements easing the lockdown rules, the prime minister said single adult households or single parents with children under 18 can form a 'bubble' with one other household, acting as if they live in the same property.

They would then be allowed to mix as though they were one household, spending time together indoors, not having to follow the two-metre rule and would be allowed to stay overnight.

If any member of the 'support bubble' develops covid-19 symptoms they would need to follow advice on isolation.

He said it was a "targeted intervention to limit the most harmful effects of the social restrictions."

He warned if people do not meet the criteria to form a "support bubble", then meeting inside others' homes could be against the law.

Boris Johnson announced plans for 'support bubbles' in England
Boris Johnson announced plans for 'support bubbles' in England. Picture: PA

"It is emphatically not designed for people who don't qualify to start meeting inside other people's homes, because that remains against the law," he said.

"Support bubbles must be exclusive, meaning you can't switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with other households," Mr Johnson said.

Mr Johnson also confirmed that zoos and safari parks will be able to open from Monday, as well as all shops.

Detailing the move at the coronavirus press conference, the prime minister said: "We can proceed with the following further adjustments to the lockdown in England.

"Because the risk of transmission is lower outdoors we will allow some attractions to open," including safari parks and drive-in cinemas.

Zoos will be able to reopen from Monday, but will have to adhere to strict measures
Zoos will be able to reopen from Monday, but will have to adhere to strict measures. Picture: PA

Zoos too can "reopen from Monday providing visitor numbers are managed," he said.

READ MORE: Zoos to reopen with special measures - but keepers say they are 'not out of the woods'

This green light for reopening comes alongside a number restrictions to keep visitors safe from any potential spread of coronavirus.

It means indoor closures, such as reptile houses and aquariums, will remain closed for the time being.

Cafes and other onsite refreshment amenities will also be limited to takeaways only.

To ensure social distancing is followed, some parks will be introducing special ticket booking systems that limit visitor capacity, while two-metre floor markings will be laid out, one-way routings will be implemented on narrow pathways, and hand sanitiser points will be introduced.

Individual zoos have also revealed their own plans for keeping customers safe, including detailed signage throughout their parks, and special barriers to limit bacterial spread.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park's Cheryl Williams told LBC News that the facility would "look different" when it reopens at a capacity of a third less than usual.

It has cancelled events that would usually have encouraged crowds to gather, and has erected barricades to keep people away from touching the glass - which children would often touch when looking through it to an animal enclosure.

Zoos and safari parks will now join the non-essential shops that are also due to reopen on Monday as long as they meet the struct guidelines in place to protect shoppers from COVID-19.

It follows on from car showrooms and outdoor markets being given the go ahead to operate at the beginning of the month.