It was previously rumoured that people could choose a ‘bubble’ of people to socialise with.
Following the release of the government’s 50-page document outlining their lockdown exit strategy, it has now been confirmed that Boris Johnson and co. are currently liaising with the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) on how members of the public can safely see their friends and family again.
Confirming the details in the document, which was released on Monday, SAGE is expected to consult on when and how the government will be able to update the current rules on socialising with others, with the document confirming they’d like to “allow people to expand their household group to include one other household in the same exclusive group”.
The document reads: “The intention of this change would be to allow those who are isolated some more social contact, and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission. It would also support some families to return to work by, for example, allowing two households to share childcare.”
The new regulations for socialising could draw inspiration from New Zealand’s ‘social bubble’ concept, which currently allows residents to extend their household bubble (the people who live in one house) to include “people such as close family members, caregivers or someone who needs care”. The NZ government website advises residents to “keep your extended bubble local, small and exclusive”.
Not only is the UK considering the new rules for socialising, but the document also confirms that the government is considering options to allow small weddings to go ahead, following March’s initial lockdown regulations which banned all social events, including weddings.
So far, the government has lifted restrictions on how many times you can leave the house to take advantage of the outdoors, with Sunday’s official announcement confirming that the general public will be able to exercise outdoors as much as they’d like, and sunbathe in local outdoor spaces such as parks.