Support bubbles explained for those living in different tiers - and who can form a bubble

Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 11:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 11:46 am

England’s new tiering system has placed different parts of the country into three alert levels, with lockdown restrictions varying depending on which tier an area falls into.

However, can people from different tiers still mix as part of a support bubble? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is a group of people who can have close physical contact. A bubble can be formed between a single-adult household - which means there’s only one adult in the home - and one other household of any size.

Once you’re in a support bubble you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.

However, once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble.

Can I be in a bubble with someone from a different tier?

Those in support bubbles can stay overnight in each other's homes and do not have to socially distance, even if they are in tier 2 and 3 areas, which are the two highest levels of coronavirus restrictions.

People can form support bubbles with those who live in an area with a higher rating, and existing support bubbles can still continue to remain in place if areas are put into different alert levels.

The two households can continue to travel between each other, but the government says people should try to minimise contact with those in their support bubble if it involves travel to or from a very high area, which is tier 3.

Bubbles can be cross-border with Scotland and Wales, but these are subject to local restrictions, so it’s worth checking government websites first.

If anyone in a support bubble develops coronavirus symptoms, then everyone in the bubble must self-isolate.

How far can I travel?

The government advises trying to limit travelling far to make a support bubble, recommending that you form “a support bubble with a household that lives locally wherever possible.”

“This will help to prevent the virus spreading from an area where there might be a higher rate of infection,” adds Gov.uk.

Who can make a support bubble?

You can form a support bubble with another household of any size that is not part of a support bubble with anyone else if you:

live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide supportare a single parent living with children who were under 18 on 12 June 2020

If you share custody of your child with someone you do not live with, but are a single-adult household, then you can still form a support bubble with another household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent.

If you’re not a single-adult household, you can form a support bubble with a single-adult household other than the one that includes your child’s other parent.

A version of this article was originally published on our sister site, Yorkshire Evening Post.