Allow infrequent socialisation between households

I suggest considering allowing households to meet with other households on an occasional basis.

For example, allow my household to visit another for a meal one week. Then the following week, we could host a different household for a meal.

I expect that this limited socialisation should have a controllable impact on transmission. Contact tracing would be a straightforward extension with this policy in place. The level of increase in transition could also be limited by adapting the frequency of such meeting (e.g. once a week/fortnight/month).

Special consideration would still need to be given to shielding households.

Why the contribution is important

This would allow families to meet together, and for those without local blood relatives, allow meeting with the friendship families that exist.

Reinforcing personal connections is important in the coming months.

by worstludditeever on May 05, 2020 at 01:03PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.4
Based on: 51 votes


  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 13:07

    Being able to see even one or two households would repair relationships, rebuild friendships, and be hugely beneficial for younger children in particular
  • Posted by Garywall8787 May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    Agreed peoples mental health in regards to the need for social contact has not been considered in good enough detail by the government at this point
  • Posted by ElaineKeay May 05, 2020 at 13:09

    Definitely allow visiting between family members in different household
  • Posted by REB May 05, 2020 at 13:09

    I would agree with this suggestion but would suggest the 'different household' should be the same household each time and not the following week, we could host a different household for a meal.
  • Posted by Switchqueen May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    Seems a reasonable suggestion but impossible to monitor this. If done, possibly every 14 days to allow for isolation in between?
  • Posted by Newleaf11 May 05, 2020 at 13:12

    I think this a good idea, there are people who will be feeling very isolated and lonely at this time and this in turn will be impacting on their mental health.
  • Posted by Garstard May 05, 2020 at 13:13

    I think proposals relating to he creation of multi household bubbles would adequately cover this proposal and make more clear the limitations on numbers of individuals who can interact.
  • Posted by forest May 05, 2020 at 13:17

    Agree 100% with this, the first thing that needs to happen is allow us to mix with close family and friends. The affect the social isolation is having on my kids, in fact all of us, is awful, we are all missing family and friends terribly. Video calling just isn't cutting it anymore. If the 'bubbles' are small and the same the risk of spread must be extremely low.
  • Posted by Panjam May 05, 2020 at 13:17

    I think this is a good idea, even if it was a fortnightly meeting rather than weekly.

    The bubble idea doesn't work very well - in our close family we've got a household consisting of an elderly couple and one member of this may not have long to live anyway, a household with teenagers, a household with under 10s, and another household with teenagers, and another household with preschoolers. They all love varying distances away.

    I'd rather spread meetings out than have a horrible choice of whether a 7 year old or a teenager gets to see his pals or whether whether grandparents get to see their grandchildren. I think the Government are going to have to give people autonomy to manage this - obviously nobody wants to risk elderly relatives but there is a balance to be struck between them having a bad quality of life and getting covid. Testing would help.
  • Posted by Mumandnan May 05, 2020 at 13:20

    We need to allow safe meeting with other family members in different households, there is going to be a big rise in mental health issues going forward an I worry how our young ones are going to be affected by this in the long term.
  • Posted by Jennifer May 05, 2020 at 13:22

    If visiting could this be monitored via a tracing app? Make people create a bubble on the app and check in? Monitored via Bluetooth like the National app might do?
  • Posted by johnjj77 May 05, 2020 at 13:22

    Being able to see/meet/socialise with a small number of other households is vital especially to those that live on their own and/or don't have family nearby in other households. Suggest keeping it simple for example, you can nominate say 5 households and you can spend as much time as you want with anyone in those households. This would not increase the risk by much especially with test, track and trace etc. Plus people need to be trusted they will immediately take action if they develop symptoms.

    To ease the lockdown without allowing people to see a few family households AND non-family households wouldn't feel like much of an easing.
  • Posted by GavinFalconer May 05, 2020 at 13:23

    Yes. I think this is very important
    We need to treat people as adults, and ask them to be sensible with their social activities, limiting to a small group of friends and family, importantly keeping good records of any visits. That way, if someone did show symptoms they would have information readily available to pass to to potentially infected people, creating a chain of those needing to isolate.

    Visits to elderly relatives or other vulnerable individuals, for example, would have to be managed by a period of isolation before hand. 

    The "stick" for this carrot is that clearly a higher level of social contact increases the possibility of having to isolate as a result of being part of an 'infection chain'.

    I think people would understand this balance and would be responsible in their decisions. 
  • Posted by Kim May 05, 2020 at 13:24

    I accept that one solution won't fit all, but people need to be able to have communications/contact with others. Personally i would like to be able to see my grandchildren and i know other who don't have grandchildren would like to see some close friends . A bubble of a certain amount would be a good start.

  • Posted by katecarter1505 May 05, 2020 at 13:36

    This is an extremely good idea. People that I know who don' even suffer from mental health issues are struggling and are constantly down. On the other hand people with mental health issues are really struggling, with night terrors and health issues cropping up because of anxieties about the situations. I know the severity of the situation and it would be completely irresponsible to let everything go back to normal. But even if we can see a handful of friends and family members it would greatly help the situation we're currently in.
  • Posted by alloha May 05, 2020 at 15:17

    10/10 Great idea. Best one I've seen thus far.

    Very sensible for the reasons listed.
  • Posted by ashlouise91 May 06, 2020 at 15:09

    I think this is a good idea. However if you mix with one household and then another the next week you could potentially receive covid-19 from someone asymptomatic in the first household you interact with and pass it on to someone in the second a week later.

    I think households would need to be paired. I would love to be able to socialise with many different people but I do worry it would have an impact on transmission and begin to increase the transmission rate.

    For example you could have a single person household seeing their parents or sibling and then the risk would only be between those two households if you were social distancing in all other aspects of your life.
  • Posted by worstludditeever May 07, 2020 at 06:49


    There is always a risk of catching Covid-19 if leaving the household, and asympomatic cases could have this consequence. This is part of the reason I suggest the option of varying the frequency of meetings, if once per fortnight instead, that is essentially the recommended isolation period.
  • Posted by Dwilliams21 May 08, 2020 at 11:34

    I have problems with the social bubble concept. If that means only people inside that bubble can contact each other for non-essential socialising then I can’t see that working for many.

    The principle is about social distancing to contain R. The idea of reducing the frequency of contact proposed here may be sensible rather than blanket restrictions on which people are contacted.

    Has to rely on voluntary compliance like many if the likely restrictions
  • Posted by Dodie20 May 11, 2020 at 21:32

    People are doing it anyway.
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