Create social bubbles and then relax the rules by age groups

The most at risk whether vulnerable by age or by medical condition will need to stay socially distanced for longer unfortunately. For these lucky enough not in this category, times could be set for further relaxing of social distancing based roughly on age, such as people over 45 to go out in the mornings within a small unchanging social bubble of one or two other households, people under 45 to go out in the afternoons. On top of the existing half hour per day for essentials. Relaxations could be made gradually as the R factor is kept under close review in case it starts to increase.

Why the contribution is important

People have done their best to comply and understand the reasons why social distancing is so important. However some relaxation has to come at some point, and it will have to be gradual and capable of being reversed easily. Once small social bubbles of two or three households or a maximum of maybe six people are established if they are adhered to infections should not continue to rise. But if the R factor increases the relaxations may have to be reversed. To allow people more access to the outdoors is a good idea for physical and mental health and could be done based on age group. Covid-19 tends to be less risky in the younger populations and so perhaps either younger people are allowed more time outdoors, on their own or in their social bubbles, or mornings are reserved for older people and afternoons for younger people thus reducing cross age accidental encounters and infection.

by Katharine on May 05, 2020 at 09:15PM

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Average rating: 2.9
Based on: 11 votes


  • Posted by aberangus May 05, 2020 at 21:44

    I agree that creating 'bubble' groups makes a lot of sense. Especially while the government is supposed to be increasing the track and trace capacity. It makes complete sense to allow maybe up to 10 people(?) that are vulnerable or over 70 (in separate groups) to sign up and socialise together - assuming in the case of the vulnerable group that those providing them with care are suitably tested at high enough frequencies .

    I would argue that those neither in the vulnerable or over 70s group should be able to socialise more widely given the evidence to date seems to point to them being at fairly low risk to serious responses to the virus
  • Posted by kapercaillie May 05, 2020 at 22:15

    The idea of Bubbles in the paper makes good sense but if Bubbles are formed by two or three households of the same family, in most cases their ages will span both the age groups Katharine suggests.
  • Posted by Thewax May 05, 2020 at 22:20

    Wouldn’t like to be the one to tell two of my friends who are over 70 that they would have to isolate for longer
  • Posted by BEAM May 05, 2020 at 22:29

    Older people complaining of not being allowed to hug their grandkids don't seem to get that they are the vulnerable ones and their grandchildren are the ones who are likely to pass C19 on to them. Age banding the populace and allowing differing age groups out at specific timings seems to me a reasonable start. Good idea Katharine
  • Posted by grannylinda May 06, 2020 at 07:13

    Not a good idea as lots of people will want to socialise with their families in the first instance. Very divisive way forward. Allow us the opportunity to mix with those of our own choice whilst observing the restrictions in place at the time. Strongly disagree with age differentiation unless those with underlying conditions
  • Posted by WestEnd2020 May 06, 2020 at 08:28

    This is NOT a good idea. There are very many fit and healthy over 70s. Locking them up for months on end is not appropriate or necessary. Suggesting that over 70s ‘don’t seem to get that they are the vulnerable ones’ is condescending and self-centered. I know over 70s and their families who are far more worried about not seeing their families again because of natural mortality than they are about the impact of coronavirus on them.
    We are supposed to ‘all get through this together’ - well let’s do that rather than have devisive ideas like this.
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