Visiting other households

One option suggested is that when it is safe to do so households could have contact with a limited number of other households, forming a single unit that doesn’t connect to others. If one person within that “bubble” had virus symptoms, all members of that “bubble” would be required to isolate for a 14 day period.

Why the contribution is important

The Scottish Government has committed to engaging with the public and is interested to hear your thoughts on this topic.

by ScottishGovernment on May 04, 2020 at 08:22PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.1
Based on: 327 votes


  • Posted by sreid May 05, 2020 at 12:50

    The principle of this idea is largely sound, however I would stress against the "bubble" messaging which misses the key point which will apply to a large number of families - that is, that rather than selecting sensibly who is to be included in said bubble, difficult decisions will have to be made as to who is excluded. This applies particularly to families with young children with grandparents on both sides (who potentially have other grandchildren).

    The messaging would perhaps be more appropriate as the breaking of chains of households. Identify first where the chain is to be broken - At current it feels likely that many people would miss, or chose to ignore that the bubble is to the exclusion of all others.
  • Posted by leesap99 May 05, 2020 at 12:58

    Perhaps a maximum of 10 in the “bubble” keeping safe distancing where possible and ideally outside in a garden for example ( although I realise everyone will not have access to a garden )
  • Posted by g58 May 05, 2020 at 12:58

    Whilst I completely agree that social contact would need to be limited I do not agree that the “bubble” is the best way forward. This would mean a huge number of people remain completely isolated from others (e.g if they live a distance from close family and friends in another town or region). I am sure I am not the only single mum who lives far from family and friends who would have no options for a “bubble” in my city.
  • Posted by rhudiepup May 05, 2020 at 13:00

    What will be the distance restriction on the "bubble" of family/friends. If you have elder parents who live a fair distance from your residence, will you be allowed to travel to visit them, all be it at a social distance outside/inside?
  • Posted by Robbie2005 May 05, 2020 at 13:02

    Sounds like it was dreamed up by a scientist with little thought as to social reality.
  • Posted by Nscott94 May 05, 2020 at 13:02

    I would advocate for this. I cannot see my fiancee at the moment and this has negatively affected my mental health.

    I, like thousands of others, would need to commute into work via train if measures are eased for businesses. I cannot see how it is safer for me to do that and mingle with hundreds of others on a cramped train than to see 1 person outside my household.

    I also have friends and family who live alone who are either suffering with loneliness or are taking more risks going out in order to have social contact.
  • Posted by poppy197312 May 05, 2020 at 13:03

    Too many people don’t understand this and think that 10 people could be 10 say twenty something adults from 10 households wanting to meet to drink and socialise .
  • Posted by Afoggo May 05, 2020 at 13:03

    If a bubble is going to specify a certain number (ie 10 people) it should exclude children / dependants and be 10 adults.

    Potentially if not managed correctly a ‘bubble’ will result in parents having to choose between grandparents so should be for at least 3 households and not a case of picking your favourite granny.
  • Posted by Blewis48 May 05, 2020 at 13:04

    Need to extend social contact while remaking safe. Bubbles will work. Seriously worried about the mental health time bomb that is coming
  • Posted by triumphherald May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    I think that allowing small groups (family or friends) to meet outside either in gardens or other suitable areas would be helpful. According to the experts the risk of infection outside is low. This is already happening to some extent and would help alleviate loneliness.
  • Posted by DarrenB May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    I live 160 miles away from my mum who is currently alone and isolated. I like the idea of having a “bubble” of households but I’m concerned about what the definition of that is and the way it can / can not be formed.

    Essentially, I can travel to my mum in 2.5-3 hours in my own car. I don’t have to see or be close to anyone else. I don’t have to stop on the way.

    However, I’ve seen the suggestion that a geographical limit could be put on these bubbles. I think clearer guidance on how to travel safely to different households within your “bubble” would be better than having a restrictive zone.
  • Posted by MZ57 May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    This idea is sensible and allows a small deviation to present rules. We should trust initially the judgement of family to mix with family who they are sure have no symptoms but only in limited "bubble " max 6 persons
  • Posted by Nixxy_1987 May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    I think this idea is a good one as it helps with mental health and wellbeing. This should only be for close family members i.e partners, parents and siblings. Also this would help people who are in a relationship and not been able to see their parnter during this time. If there is anyone in you close family who is high risk then you shouldn't be having a visit to them and this would protect them against the virus.
  • Posted by Garywall8787 May 05, 2020 at 13:06

    The idea of a bubble of ten is ridiculous. As noted by others people will be cutting family members off that can’t be in a bubble of ten and some people may be left completely isolated.

    Mental health will deteriorate
  • Posted by Fiona May 05, 2020 at 13:07

    The ability to visit elderly parents would be beneficial and would perhaps limit their desire to leave the house thereby limiting their exposure
  • Posted by ANNI May 05, 2020 at 13:08

    How about allowing a 'bubble' of agreed people to have contact, as long as one of them is not high risk exposed to Covid, i.e social care setting, healthworker etc?
  • Posted by Garstard May 05, 2020 at 13:10

    A very sensible approach in principle; requiring that households attach themselves to only one bubble. "Bubbles" should be capped in size by number of individuals rather than number of households. A bubble of 8-10 individuals would be the most manageable.
  • Posted by GavinFalconer May 05, 2020 at 13:12

    This is a sensible proposal, although I am not in favour of prescriptive "bubbles".

    Firstly, it would be impossible to police without over reaching state involvement. Secondly it would also potentially isolate some families through the playground law of popularity.

    The purpose is to break chains of infection. Or at least be aware of them.

    A better approach in my view would be to treat the population as adults and foster a collaborative approach to limiting chain contacts. In other words, ask people to be sensible with their social activities, limit these to a small group of friends and family and keep 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 EM82 May 05, 2020 at 13:12

    Could we not give consideration to models used in some European countries where socialising in small groups with face coverings is permitted? I am a single mum with postnatal depression and live distant from my family. There would be no bubble options for me here and I worry about the impact on the mental health of the many others who are in similar situations.
  • Posted by Beccaa08 May 05, 2020 at 13:13

    I for one would much rather be able to visit my family than go to a clothes shop
  • Posted by worstludditeever May 05, 2020 at 13:14

    My concern with this is where individuals end up excluded. How would the list of households in the bubble be decided, who gets left out?
  • Posted by Lizrodie May 05, 2020 at 13:16

    The principle is reasonable however looking at different family group types there will be difficult decisions and a risk that the rules would not be workable. 2 scenarios:
    As already noted families with grandparents and extended families on both sides
    Families currently in lockdown together with a mix of adults (parents and children) in the household where the younger adults have long term relationships they would want to resume but which would not be possible while maintaining the ‘bubble’. This would be incredibly difficult to manage.
  • Posted by Fifewifey May 05, 2020 at 13:17

    I like this idea.
  • Posted by Jane May 05, 2020 at 13:18

    This would be very welcome for families wanting to see relatives in person - it’s what makes us human.

    As described in the statement above it is open to interpretation so would suggest
    Explain implications on R number if people not fully compliant
  • Posted by MiniMum65 May 05, 2020 at 13:19

    I think the bubble needs to be kept to a smaller number to begin with, as mentioned already maybe 10 people or so. I see potential unfortunately for it to be abused though and very difficult to monitor. However, with no family nearby, I’d have to drive 50 or so miles to be able to visit my closest family members.
  • Posted by docRS May 05, 2020 at 13:20

    In order to ensure that families can visit elderly or shielded they should be able to have a test ( infection or antibody) .
    This should initially be available to health social care and key workers and their families.
  • Posted by LBE May 05, 2020 at 13:22

    It is, on the face of it, a good idea if people are able to limit the bubble and ALL parties abide by the limitations. However, it is fraught with difficulty in a practical sense because of differing priorities/relationships within any given bubble. It might work better if it was severely restricted e.g. one household links with only one other household (to give some social contact, variety, practical assistance etc)- but problems arise regarding who selects who... potentially adding to people’s stress in making and managing that decision.
  • Posted by Hamish May 05, 2020 at 13:23

    How would people choose the bubble to which they were a member and could the change bubble later? If my sister and father wanted me to be in their bubble, but my wife wanted me to be in her close family's bubble then would my wife and I have to discuss our bubble membership or could we be in one bubble this fortnight and change to another after that?
  • Posted by harrisal May 05, 2020 at 13:26

    A fairly low risk initial option could be to allow people to visit their partner, basically visiting one other house.
    unfortunately like all the suggestions it's very hard to enforce.
  • Posted by Cesmith1326 May 05, 2020 at 13:26

    The bubble is a great idea in my opinion. Particularly for those such as myself with very young children, it will improve mental health of all parties.
    Agreed, it would be hard to police-but so is the one exercise a day/essential travel only guidelines. There has to be some accountability in order for us to progress.
  • Posted by Baker1980 May 05, 2020 at 13:26

    Living on my own with no social interaction in over 6 weeks takes its toll so do feel that this is necessary very soon although should be restricted to close family and friends with a limited number even if it does mean it has to be in a garden it is better than the current situation we find ourselves un
  • Posted by gmb May 05, 2020 at 13:27

    Allowing some more mixing of households soon is very important for mental health.

    I have concerns about a totally sealed bubble though. For many people it would mean choosing between seeing family and seeing friends, and sticking to that choice exclusively for who knows how long. Especially for young adults who often live alone, perhaps a little further from family than from friends, (and whose family and friends are totally separate groups) that choice could actually lead to increased isolation with severe consequences for mental health and general wellbeing.

    I think we need to be allowed to mingle, in at lease some settings, with some number of friends, and also be allowed to mingle, in at least some settings, with close family. I realise that creates a somewhat larger network of potential infection, but the threat to mental health (and indeed the likelihood eventual dangerous disregard for restrictions) outweighs this.

    Another point - I think households should be the "count", not people. It adds very little risk of infection (if you are an asymptomatic carrier, you'll likely have infected your whole household anyway). If it was individuals that were counted, it would unjustly discriminate based on family size. At the very least, children should not be counted - we must not leave families isolated with little/no support and contact.
  • Posted by SallyAnnRossMowat May 05, 2020 at 13:32

    All my children live south of the border, Carlisle,Chester and London when can I see them again.
  • Posted by ELIZANDANDY May 05, 2020 at 13:33

    I would be very happy to have a bubble with my daughter and granddaughter to allow me to bring my granddaughter to my home for the day to enable her mother to work from home or attend her office. As my granddaughter is only 18 months old her mother is finding it very difficult to look after her and carry out her work responsibilities, resulting in her working into the early hours of the morning when my granddaughter is asleep. My daughter is getting increasingly stressed and exhausted and I fear for her health. Looking after grandchildren to enable families to work must be high on the list of necessities for families throughout the country to allow the economy to recover.
  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 13:34

    A great idea, and one which would alleviate the isolation many people have endured over the last six weeks. Even a couple of nominated households would provide huge comfort to individuals and couples cut off from loved ones and close friends, at a time when such support is needed more than ever.
  • Posted by IDLESLIE May 05, 2020 at 13:34

    As well as clear criteria on who would be eligible for being part of a bubble (e.g. cut-off being at immediate family of grandparents/parents, spouses or partners and children), it could be worth considering setting guidance on frequency of visits and record-keeping. Contact tracing will be essential in keeping the R0 low, and if families meet the rest of their bubble approx once weekly, this provides sufficient time for symptoms to emerge, and is still manageable in identifying who else might have been exposed.

    It may also help to restrict 'bubble' gatherings to the household of one of the members of the group, to reduce any risk of transmission (e.g. from larger groups taking up the width of a path during a walk).
  • Posted by Abiark May 05, 2020 at 13:35

    I think this concept is incredibly difficult and perhaps divisive, a particular difficulty is for blended families where it would be largely impossible to see even all close family within an allocation of 10 people. This may be discriminatory
  • Posted by Bmck83 May 05, 2020 at 13:36

    The vast majority are following current guidelines sensibly, so allowing them to visit a small number of other households would surely keep them onside as we emerge from the stricter guidelines over the coming weeks and months. Most of us can be trusted, and for those already flouting rules it's not going to make a difference to them anyway.

    Imposing a geographical limit is understood given that increased travel will bring increased risk of road accidents and NHS / Police involvement. But not everyone lives in cities close to loved ones. I haven't seen my partner in 7 weeks and my wellbeing is seriously suffering.

    We are in serious danger of undoing some of the benefits to this point by not understanding the mental health risks and weighing them up against the physical health risks. As a country, we cannot continue to ignore the mental health of the nation, especially when we have markedly increased the opportunities and circumstances where mental health issues take hold.

    Surely at this stage, the messaging should also have been rebadged as physical rather than social distancing.
  • Posted by vl3092 May 05, 2020 at 13:39

    In October this year, my partner and I are supposed to be immigrating to Canada. I recently left my job prior to lockdown and intended spending my remaining months with friends and family to enjoy the time that I had left here in the UK. Since March, I've not been able to see friends or family, or spend any time with them. My partner also works offshore, so when he returns to work in a few weeks, I will be completely on my own with no social contact, which I'm sure other people are experiencing daily themselves already.
    I don't particularly understand how the bubble works as I haven't read anything that is explicitly clear yet. I just want to be able to spend time with my family before I leave, and it's heartbreaking that I can't. I've missed my Gran's birthday, it's my partner's mum's 60th soon, his sister's birthday too and we can't share any of these milestones with them while we are still here.
    If it's less risky to be outside and catch it, why can't I go and sit in the back garden at my mum's house for half an hour for a catch up, and keep at least 2 metres apart. I'm in closer contact with people when I go to the supermarket, or even when I go a walk round Kelvingrove park. If they implement "bubbles" how are they going to monitor it exactly?
  • Posted by Al2020 May 05, 2020 at 13:41

    I agree, a relaxing of the rules, particularly for people who have been in lockdown by themselves, to allow small "bubbles" is a good idea. I think any guidance on this would need to be crystal clear.
  • Posted by Clairemck91 May 05, 2020 at 13:42

    I think this idea is good! The people who would do this we would all hope they would do it sensibly. I have been apart from my partner for four weeks now and my anxiety is through the roof. To be allowed to see him only a hand full of times in space out areas would help my mental health. We need to think of all the other people with mental health issues and how this would help them feel a lot better! I hope this will be allowed so we can interact with our loved ones again but still carry out safe measures
  • Posted by ediken May 05, 2020 at 13:45

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by fionapalmer1 May 05, 2020 at 13:51

    I have observed many of my neighbours receiving visits from children and grandchildren, where visitors stay outside in the garden. Your suggestion is already happening at the moment.

    I think the bubble needs to be very small to begin with. In Australia up to two adults from one household can now meet up with two adults from another household (children in each household can also be included)
  • Posted by alogan May 05, 2020 at 13:58

    This is a terrible idea, in that grandparents would end up having to choose which grandchildren they could see or families would have to choose which grandparents they would not see. It would be far better and fairer to allow an outdoor meeting with one and only one family group in any one week.
  • Posted by raylow May 05, 2020 at 13:59

    I do not care how small the bubble is, just please allow single and widowed people the chance to meet with a friend in the garden, at a sensible distance . We miss our Coffee Mornings and Lunches out especially the over 70 S who have lots of restrictions these days. This isn’t good for mental wellbeing.
  • Posted by kathiepd May 05, 2020 at 14:01

    When government feels it has evidence to progress with this option, it'd be good to get clarity on the distance within the bubble as for many seeing family or partners would mean extending beyond the 'local area.'
  • Posted by Leslies May 05, 2020 at 14:25

    Single and widowed people who live alone and with no family locally really need to have priority here. We really need that social interaction and no amount of zooming or "what's apping" is a substitute for seeing another person in the flesh, even 1 metre away, and having that face to face interaction with them. Then it can be extended to families who currently live together seeing other family members/friends but those who live alone, young and old, are the ones most at risk of either developing mental health problems or of having existing mental health problems exacerbated, if the total isolation carries on much longer. I speak from the heart.
  • Posted by PETERMEI77 May 05, 2020 at 14:27

    The problem I have with "bubbles " is that most people will not understand that your bubble circle of friends/family has to be strictly adhered to. Whether it's limited to 6, 8 or 10 everyone in that bubble has to agree with each other who the other members are. I'm sure that most bubble groups will struggle to agree who it's members will be leading to some including some members who the rest didn't agree to. The result is that instead of one bubble you end up with a venn diagram of bubbles all overlapping, so instead of say 10 people interacting you have in reality 20 or more !
  • Posted by Margaret0308 May 05, 2020 at 14:33

    I’m all for allowing contact with a small number of people but imposing restrictions eg the bubble must be in one place, will be very divisive. Let’s face it,we’ve all seen friends and families meeting in parks. This is very upsetting already for those of us doing our best to maintain social distancing. Giving approval to this going forwards just cause additional challenges for those of us whose loved ones are not close by
  • Posted by LA May 05, 2020 at 14:36

    Not sure if the ‘bubble’ would work or if people would stick to it. However I do think people should be allowed to meet in gardens or outdoor areas whilst wearing face-coverings and maintaining social distancing. This could perhaps be a first step to allowing more social interaction?
  • Posted by Flopster May 05, 2020 at 14:37

    This could result in those without family (at least in their locality) having little or no benefit from the easing of the restrictions through bubbling as their friends understandably opt to “bubble” with family members. Allowing “chains” of known and trusted connections would alleviate this, enabling everyone to enjoy some limited social life.
  • Posted by JaneySue May 05, 2020 at 14:38

    Great idea. Humans need humans otherwise we are not practicing humanity.
    Loneliness is deadly.
  • Posted by dassie4 May 05, 2020 at 14:42

    I agree that the bubble idea would be very difficult to communicate, and the Venn diagram Of bubbles as described above would be the reality.
    A simpler idea might be to allow individuals/family groups to meet in clusters of up to 8 people for a maximum of one hour per day as long as the meetings were outdoors, the 2m rule was still observed between households and the meetings took place in daylight hours and within reasonable walking distance of home.
    This idea would be easier to monitor and give individuals within households the flexibility to meet up with their own preferred contacts.
  • Posted by lmac May 05, 2020 at 14:42

    I think allowing some mixing with a limited number of people/households would be one of the most positive steps forward for people's mental health.
    I am 39 weeks with my first baby and have spent most of the end of my pregnancy indoors except from permitted exercise and essential antenatal appointments. It would be amazing to have the connection with my family again at such a special time in our lives.

    I appreciate trying to monitor adherence to some of these restrictions would be challenging and a certain degree of trust needs to be placed in the public to follow guidelines - as is the case right now. I am fully aware of people who have family over in their garden and socially distance in the garden already.

    I do think that easing up on the tight restrictions on visiting households may help people to continue with some of the other lockdown restrictions for a little longer.
  • Posted by Ryeoman May 05, 2020 at 14:48

    I think this is a great idea, especially for those who are living alone. I have been furloughed from work (along with many other people), and the lack of social contact I would normally gain from work alongside living alone has made the past seven weeks incredibly difficult and I know I won’t be the only one who is feeling incredibly more isolated. I can understand and appreciate people’s points of views RE the difficulty of picking people in your bubble, but we are the stage now that people need to begin interacting with other people out with their households, especially those living alone. If not, then I believe there will be major issues in people’s mental health.
  • Posted by amyheulwen May 05, 2020 at 14:50

    Could it be considered that those that live alone be able to pair up with one other household and joint their bubble so they can at least have some contact with others outside their home. As restrictions are eased maybe instead of picking people to expand their bubble with they have to pick a number of households e.g. 1 or 2.
  • Posted by MDG May 05, 2020 at 14:57

    I won't have seen my son for 3 months by the time we reach 28th May. If the "bubble" doesn't extend outwith geographical areas, how does that correspond with the legislation that permits the movement of estranged children between parents?

    The inability to use public transport or drive (would it be classed as essential to drive 80 miles, to pick him up then return him there, be essential?) has been a major barrier and any "bubble" would just extend that barrier. There needs to be some common sense applied to family movements or the Mental Health impacts will eventually outweigh the impacts of COVID in Scotland.

    Agree with FM that economy and lives shouldn't be a choice but the re-balancing of both needs to start soon or the damage from this episode will last longer than the actual pandemic does. The damage to family relationships, especially with children but also with grandparents may be more damaging than COVID in the long term if these practical aspects are left open to debate, be decisive and have Ministerial MSPs make decisions in their area of work and allow some progress back to a new Scotland and not one that leaves a trail of personal and family mental health problems that will last a generation.
  • Posted by alileslie May 05, 2020 at 15:07

    The 'bubble' concept would be very difficult to maintain. Instead, perhaps meeting in small groups could be considered, allowing no gatherings of groups larger than 5 for example.
  • Posted by cm100 May 05, 2020 at 15:09

    I think this idea is a positive step forward. It may be some time before we return to anything 'normal', being able to spend time with loved ones, albeit a small circle would certainly help with mental well being.
  • Posted by Suze1 May 05, 2020 at 15:18

    It would seem sensible to relax the restriction on known contacts,e.g friends and family, and allow a small wave on spread to trickle through now before relaxing for wider social collectives such as restaurants and pubs. i'm not sure what the benefit of restricting number of households is. Surely the key factor should be physical distancing and hygiene?
  • Posted by JennyHaywood May 05, 2020 at 15:26

    I agree that we should be able to visit close family members/partners who might otherwise be isolated (e.g. live alone and furloughed from work), so long as travel is safe (i.e. in a car) and all members continue to restrict social contact outside the family, and avoid all contact if they have symptoms.

    This could be restricted to a limited number of households, each household being effectively a single unit.

    This is very important for mental wellbeing.
  • Posted by Larky1956 May 05, 2020 at 15:27

    I like this idea but would initially restrict it to immediate family this would reduce some of the isolation that some grandparents are experiencing
  • Posted by DeeMack May 05, 2020 at 15:38

    I do think that something will need to give soon. A lot of people are struggling with very limited social contact and the impact on mental health really is quite significant. 7 weeks in you can see that people are starting to relax on their movements slightly so perhaps the best approach for compliance going forward is to allow a limited contact with others.

    Speaking to friends and family I don't think anyone is really that bothered about going to the pub or a restaurant just now. People might comply more in the coming weeks if they were just able to see one or two loved ones as it'll give them the welcome boost they need to see them through the next phase of this. I know personally if I was allowed to see my partner again I'd quite happily continue to work from home/go out for one walk a day/visit the shop once a week for as long as needed! Being on my own (in a flat with no garden) is a real challenge.

    I think generally speaking we've all adhered to restrictions pretty well here so maybe it's about having continued confidence in people being sensible, taking precautions and looking after those that most need it.
  • Posted by NR7784 May 05, 2020 at 15:42

    Family groups who had daily or regular contact (childcare provided by grandparents for example) up until the day of the lockdown should be allowed to resume contact unless they are shielding or otherwise vulnerable. Parents who have split custody have been given the option to move children between households, these same principles should be applied to between household contact within other family circumstances. Especially when grandparents have not been allowed to see grandchildren for weeks, it is unfair on all parties and is doing more harm than good. If everyone is well and they are otherwise maintaining the social distancing guidelines while out of their respective homes, then this is absolutely doable and would provide a better quality of life for many people. You will find people would be able to stick this out better if they were allowed to see close family that were a daily part of their lives up until 7 weeks ago. If all hygiene guidance is adhered to i cant see why this is a problem.
  • Posted by MoynaK May 05, 2020 at 15:44

    I’m not sure how a ‘bubble’ can work effectively unless it is for a very short period to reunite people before lockdown finishes. Realistically once people begin leaving the house to return to school and/or work, or they interact with others forming new bubbles, it becomes impossible.

    Also the idea of this seems to assume that we all live near our families. Our parents and siblings live anywhere between 30 minutes to 4 hours drive away so would the idea of ‘bubbles’ take this into account?
  • Posted by mariebeaton1 May 05, 2020 at 15:45

    For those of us with young families and no parents or immediate family nearby a bubble would need to include close friends so please consider this when setting rules.
  • Posted by sciuro May 05, 2020 at 15:56

    i think having bubbles and households as separate things is confusing. this will introduce conflict about who is "in" and who is "out" the bubble - and who gets to choose.

    a better approach is to relax some restrictions on meeting friends and family, while maintaining social distancing of 2m (outside, or with masks if inside).
  • Posted by lindadoune May 05, 2020 at 15:58

    for example: my husband works in a supermarket and is at work everyday. Would that exclude us from forming a bubble as potentially he has contact with 1000s of people everyday.

    therefore, it that's the case it would be impossible for the vast majority of people to form bubbles?
  • Posted by ColinR May 05, 2020 at 15:58

    Essential step to allow grandparents to help look after children of working parents, BUT older grandparents will be more at risk picking up or dropping off those children at school unless radical changes made to drop off and pick up young children in schoolyards.
  • Posted by alyssa13 May 05, 2020 at 16:02

    So many people are struggling with their mental health, and to be able to see close family, partners, would help massively and could help the motivation that has been lost for some people to help maintain their work.
  • Posted by LonePigeon May 05, 2020 at 16:05

    I fully support a form of bubble idea to allow those going through lockdown on their own to meet others. It is vital for their mental health.

    They are being unfairly punished if adhering to the current rules and are suffering when seeing others together when out exercising and on social media while not getting to converse closely with anyone themselves.

    It would be a disgrace if those going through lockdown on their own are denied human interaction (even with one or two pre nominated people) over fears that others not going through this alone may abuse the new rules.

    There also must not be a distance restriction for people who can responsibly travel while adhering to distancing (is private car).
  • Posted by DMacDonald May 05, 2020 at 16:20

    This is an excellent idea and would be very well received by families :-) In addition, people would be so grateful for this that they would have no problem in adhering to isolation if anyone in the bubble had symptoms. Please go ahead with this later this week.
  • Posted by catalyst May 05, 2020 at 16:42

    I can see and understand the advantages of allowing people to meet (albeit observing social distancing) with others outside of their home group, but have concerns over how this will be monitored and enforced effectively. Once any relaxtion is given I feel there will be an immediate temptation to push the boundaries and difficult to easily ascertain that the rules are being appropraitely followed. The rules need to be clear, simple and applicable to all. Only then is it fair to everyone regardless of their individual / family circumstances and ensure that any benefits of the change are not creating new problems.
  • Posted by LAMac May 05, 2020 at 16:47

    This would require people to only be a member of one "bubble". I don't believe people would adhere to this.
  • Posted by Donald May 05, 2020 at 16:56

    Maximum of 4-6 close family, but nobody who is vulnerable. Any larger could encourage a party situation and social distancing would be lost.
  • Posted by James_1996 May 05, 2020 at 17:04

    I also live a distance apart from my partner. Mentally it is quite tough and feel that me travelling as a single occupant of a car to see her would be low risk compared to family gatherings etc. I know many are in the same position for partners or isolated older family members who are also alone and a distance apart from loved ones. Distance should not be a restriction when safe to meet people
  • Posted by PaulB1987 May 05, 2020 at 17:14

    I don’t agree with the bubble idea, what if you have 2 families of 5"? Your bubble is then gone, how about just continuing to trust people to be adults which you keep saying we have been and allow us to self manage and show common sense. The most isolated at risk and lonely people will inevitably be made to suffer even more if this goes ahead and it’s unnaceptable after the majority have struggled through 9 weeks of pain sticking to this
  • Posted by Qwe123 May 05, 2020 at 17:17

    I think in practice this would be difficult to implement and potentially unfair. Those with a nuclear family close by would be very well served, but those who live alone or far from family could be left in a ‘no-mans-land’ worsening the current loneliness and mental health strain.

    I think meeting up in limited numbers, outside, staying 2m away would reduce risk of transmission while being fairer to all, and easier to monitor.
  • Posted by ljk84 May 05, 2020 at 17:39

    This has to be one of the first considerations. Please allow us to visit close family the mental wellbeing impact is hige.
  • Posted by kellyseye May 05, 2020 at 18:47

    I agree with the "bubble" idea it would allow people to see their loved ones, I live alone and stay
    a bit of a distance from my daughter, not being able to go visit her since this began has and is crippling to say the least, yes we have technology but it is just not the same.

    Although the situation we are all in and facing is not great, there needs to be some flexibility of movement to see loved ones (i.e in private vehicle)

  • Posted by DaveL May 05, 2020 at 18:53

    Great idea in theory. Not so great when it comes to practical application. Would probably work resonably well if it was limited to family only and the households within that family continued to restrict contact outside. This would still require a level of common sense regarding numbers, distance covered, how likely members are to have contact with infected people ie is a family member a nurse or other front line worker? The problem comes with if you include neighbours. If for example, we formed a group with our neighbours on either side of our house. That's fine but, what if they wanted contact with their neighbours on the other side, and they wanted contact with their neighbours etc. Pretty soon we would effectively be in a group that included the whole street. The same applies to other groups ie parents of school children. Say you've got a 5 year old and a 10 year old. You link up with some of the 5 year olds parents and some of the 10 year olds. But, one of the 5 year olds has an 8 year old sibling so their parents join that group as well. Suddenly you're part of a group including the parents of everyone at the school. Again, good idea but practical application a major problem.
  • Posted by eilidh May 05, 2020 at 19:21

    How can you possibly do this where multiple families are involved in different parts of the country, overlapping and entirely separate friend groups and people in those with different jobs and risks levels? It seems like an idea dreamed up by people that think we all live in 2.4 child units, exacerbating isolation and inequality of older and young adults who are likely to live in flats in favour of middle class families with gardens and children of similar ages and stages. How could you ever possibly pick and how would you stop people who live alone being discounted in favour of bigger households who offer more options for socialising?
  • Posted by Joanne May 05, 2020 at 19:24

    The bubble idea would be difficult to implement and potentially really divisive. Would be easier just to limit each of us to see a small family grouping and a couple of close personal friends in outdoor spaces to begin with. Keeping it simple I think is a good plan.
  • Posted by beykayak May 05, 2020 at 19:27

    I think it is a sensible next step to be able to increase your bubble slightly to include people not shielding. I personally don’t think including people shielding is sensible as the first step out of lockdown. I think limits need to be placed on this so it is very clear what is allowed as the next step. I also think diagrams like have been used in NZ to show what is allowed at level 4 vs 3 are very useful and could be employed in the UK to good effect to help give people clarity.
  • Posted by nltcthgc May 05, 2020 at 19:45

    Many of the Scottish Government initiated threads start with - "When it safe to do so . . ."

    When do you think it will be safe?

    This is a virus which is likely to be around forever. Even with a vaccine, thousands of people will likely still die from it - just look at the current flu statistics. It will be a risk like any other and people will have to make their own choices about how they manage that risk.

    Before this outbreak, hospital wards were often closed because of various outbreaks of flue, MRSA, etc. Care homes were also hit with outbreaks of other viruses and infections which killed many of the residents - while this is a new virus, this type of risk is not something completely new.
    The COVID 19 virus is impacting a tiny percentage of our population (less than 1%), yet the response impacts 100%. We are not even thinking about our most vulnerable people - our young children. We should be allowed to make our own decisions about risk. Hospitals (as Nicola Sturgeon has told us) have never reached capacity, so we are in a good position to handle any possible spike in new cases needing hospital treatment. Let us get back to the freedoms which millions of our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers fought in real wars to preserve.

    The best way to avoid dying from it is to try and live a fit and healthy life, get as much fresh air as you can and do regular exercise. Something which the current lockdown restrictions are preventing millions of people from doing.
  • Posted by DrSaraParvis May 05, 2020 at 20:24

    This could be really helpful for young people, students, and single people in general. But it would be better not to use the term 'bubble'- maybe 'designated linked households'?
  • Posted by Rachel_T1502 May 05, 2020 at 20:57

    I think it is essential for people who live alone to have human face to face contact with at least one person/household for mental health reasons, as soon as possible as the current situation just is not sustainable. Having a concept of a bubble of 10 people whilst good in theory however may result in some people becoming more isolated such as not living close to family and seems very difficult to apply practically - how about allowing people to increase social contact (outdoors if possible unless for other eg care giving reasons) with 1 or 2 people, but perhaps prioritising certain criteria in the first instance such as people who are living alone ( such as the "buddy" system in New Zealand, or people/families who had previously been dependant on shared care giving from others as a priority to help prevent potential long term mental health issues.
  • Posted by Berushka80 May 05, 2020 at 21:00

    Linked households (not limited to locale) would be sensible at this stage. I know my mum is well and has been in isolation as have we. She is desperate to see her grandkids. She lives 2 hours away though, so we can't just 'pop by'. But if we didn't go out, surely visiting her for a weekend should be okay?
  • Posted by JockCrawford May 05, 2020 at 21:16

    I have 4 members of my family within a 10 mile radius of myself, 3 of whom are 65+. We are all blessed with having gardens so it would be nice to be able to support their mental health and wellbeing more with visiting and spending time together, outside, rather than just leaving shopping in the porch once a week - which is heart breaking. Small family bubbles make sense to me as the next step.
  • Posted by ls83 May 05, 2020 at 21:40

    I don't understand his this will work. Are health care workers excluded from bubbles as they are high risk?! What about their need for socialisation and human contact and not to forget mental health.
  • Posted by CLJ09 May 05, 2020 at 21:53

    I think priority should given to people being able to see their partner, other close family members or a close friend initially without travel restrictions. As a single parent not being able to see my partner as I live in Edinburgh and he lives in Glagow, this is really beginning to have an impact on our mental well being. I can take my children to their father every other week, so I'm really hoping the next step is that I can see my partner either at his home or my home, which would make things easier to cope with.
  • Posted by kc May 05, 2020 at 22:04

    As a (nearly) 30 year old living by myself, taking my one walk up a hill and only food shopping every 10 days I think if something like this doesn’t come into play I will lose my mind. I know everyone will prioritise seeing family and other friends with kids so their kids can play. I wonder what can be done to help people living a low risk life who might not be a priority to be put in a bubble. I’m getting anxious us single people don’t get mentioned much!
  • Posted by Babscox22 May 05, 2020 at 22:11

    I disagree with the concept of “bubble”. It is open to misinterpretation. My adult son is already saying he would have 10 “mates” in his bubble who you have to assume would do similar thus suddenly we are back having people mixing across multiple groups.
    The mental welfare of people needs to be paramount. There are many comments here on families being separated and unable to meet / see grandchildren/ partners/ parents. This has to be the priority even if it is outdoors
  • Posted by DarrenB May 05, 2020 at 22:29

    Another problem with having a “bubble” is that families aren’t so clear cut. My partner and I both have mothers who live alone. He also has a sister with 2 kids. His sister is divorced so needs to see their dad. Their dad also should need to see his parents, who will also want to see their daughter and her husband and children. They will also have other close family.

    It becomes unmanageable.

    I disagree with restricted numbers and restricted geographical areas. I think instead, this should be based on clear rules around how you travel and how you interact when with people you see.
  • Posted by Rugbygirl May 05, 2020 at 22:30

    Priority needs to be given to this option as a mental health crisis is already emerging in the country as a result of lockdown which will be long lasting. As a single person living alone I do not think the single bubble option is workable and will lead to further isolation for those who live alone compared to those already in family and household groups. A single bubble means if no one chooses to add me to their bubble because they prioritise their family, I am in the same situation as now. If I choose a single friend to link with, it means I can't also choose to see any of my family members as our two families wouldn't be in the same bubble, it doesn't work. It's surely much safer that I met a friend who lives alone for a socially distanced walk one day, and another day I met my sibling or parent. No large gatherings involved, both options are less risky than a large family group being in one place and it helps the mental health of the thousands of people currently living alone with no social contact for weeks on end. please pursue this option but have a rethink on the extended household bubble option.
  • Posted by Donald May 05, 2020 at 22:36

    My fear of this is it cannot be controlled by police or any others. Having a family bubble coming to visit next to me would be worrying. Touching of many items outside, distance of separation from our garden to next doors, children not being supervised.
  • Posted by Moira May 05, 2020 at 22:46

    I think it is important for us to be able to see immediate family again, and by immediate family I mean parents and adult children and their partners not living in the same household , so that families could meet up again. If we were to meet within the confines of one house then we would not pose much risk to anyone else, and the next stage is surely reducing contact rather than eliminating all contact.
    Other health and well being issues are important, not only Covid19 and it would be easier to comply with other restrictions if we were allowed to see family, notwithstanding that they may live in a different city. If all travel was done by car then there is no risk to other people. Outdoor meetings are not always practical in the Scottish weather.
  • Posted by MaryGraceSmith May 05, 2020 at 22:51

    It’s hugely important to let family units see some extended members of family. My children are missing their grandparents and I am also missing my parents and feel similar emotions to grieving for not being allowed to see them. My major concern is I live 1.5 hours drive from my parents and we drive there without the need to stop and coming into contact with anyone else. However if there are restrictions in terms of distance, I still won’t be able to see them while other families who live in the same town/close to their families will be able to. I would find this even more difficult to deal with than the currently situation, it would feel incredibly unfair. If there is the option to broaden our contacts, please please please consider allowing slightly longer journeys as long as the journey can be done by driving directly from A to B without coming into contact with any other people and the family members you do visit include you in their “extended bubble” to allow all tracking and tracing needs to remain in tact.
  • Posted by adnil May 05, 2020 at 23:17

    Stop using the bubble term. It is twee and confuses. Make it clear 2 (maybe 3 smaller) households can combine. Dont risk overlapping bubbles
  • Posted by CatherineM May 05, 2020 at 23:17

    I am strongly in favour of bubbles for small numbers of close, in the sense of much loved, family and friends. The alternative suggestion of larger and more loosely defined groups meeting 2m apart doesn't offer the same contribution to mental wellbeing because there is significant emotional pain in being unable to see and touch those you love most. It is sad that the mental wellbeing benefits would not be experienced equally by everyone because some bubbles would be limited for example by long distances. However it is already impossible to avoid significant differences in the personal demands of lockdown, for example some people have a garden or live near large open spaces, many don't. The longing to see and touch those closest to me is occupying my dreams and pulsing through every moment of my day. I think many people are feeling the same way.
  • Posted by DarrenForfar May 05, 2020 at 23:27

    I think it would be difficult to do this if any of the members of your bubble were in a job that meant they currently can’t work from home especially those in the care sector or NHS who because of their jobs are already at higher risk of exposure. I do think that the idea in general is a good one but several things would need to be considered like the number of people in your bubble, the number of different households and the distance traveled to meet up.
  • Posted by MGlasfam May 05, 2020 at 23:38

    It is a good idea but it would be impossible to police. Many will not stick to only socialising with the bubble and we could have a large Covid19 outbreak again.
  • Posted by Jeannie May 06, 2020 at 00:02

    Good idea in theory but I would worry a little that some people would jump in and out of more than one social bubble
    This also can only be done on trust as impossible to police
  • Posted by Layla May 06, 2020 at 00:28

    In theory, a nice idea. In practice, too many isolations necessary if anyone gets sick. Exclusive partners who have been split up during isolation should be allowed to see each other . Everyone else should make do with what’s app or zoom to meet non- household friends and family. Until there is no one dying in hospital or care homes.
  • Posted by Tttracy1973 May 06, 2020 at 00:46

    I think this idea is sound in principle but would start off by expanding the bubble very slightly (ie by one or two people) and scale up gradually depending on the impact to the R.

    Also as everyone's circumstances are different, it will be very difficult to introduce a 'one size fits all' solution. For example 'bubbling' won't necessarily work for me as the only person I need to see is my partner who is locked down alone over an hours drive away. Although us meeting up poses little risk (as my bubble is tiny and my partners is non existent), we would probably be excluded from this option as we live too far apart.

    I would suggest that this option is not considered in isolation, but alongside the roll out of the TTI app. This would allow volunteers to pilot various bubbling 'scenarios' such as my own, grandparent/grandkids, or even children bubbling together, to be piloted with the impact being tracked and monitored using the app. The data would help identify the least riskiest approach to expanding social bubbles, whilst trialling the app (ideally across a mix of village/town/city/rural settings to make the trial and data most meaningful).

  • Posted by Nell5a May 06, 2020 at 01:03

    At first glance a 'bubble' sounds a good idea - but the practice of it is much more complicated. People don't live neat lives, close family members don't live nearby, people's social needs are very different.

    I can imagine that for people who've lived on their own for the last 7 weeks, with barely any human contact, the prospect of meeting just one good friend would mean so much;whereas family units who've lived on top one another during lockdown, may each crave their own individual contacts. Plus many people would like to visit elderly relatives, probably some distance away - but not every week.

     Ultimately I think you have to find a way of saying to people 'we want you to have social contact with a small number of people who are important to you but you need to minimise the risk as much as possible' and then trust them. The vast majority will 'get it' - the ones who see it as licence to party, will likely do so anyway, regardless of whatever relaxing measures are put in place.

    Allow people to have cautious social contact and don't add to their already high levels of stress, by creating rules that just won't fit the myriad numbers of ways in which people live today in Scotland.
  • Posted by OldDeuteronomy May 06, 2020 at 02:56

    With talk of track and tracing Apps then 'bubbles' shouldn't be necessary? Freedom for all, applying caution and sense where and when required should be the new norm.
  • Posted by FBreslinDavda May 06, 2020 at 07:36

    Think this should be done sooner rather than later and before opening schools/more businesses. As it stands you could accidentally meet your mum (for example) at the supermarket and shout across an aisle but cannot plan that meet outside in fresh air while keeping at an appropriate distance. Opening up households slightly to meet first could gauge impact on the virus and pressure on Nhs resources and offer a lifeline to families in terms of support and mental health. Agree with comment above though about household numbers though - need a balance to be sensible with number of people in a family and whether children count in a household - hard after such a long wait if only one set of grandparents can see one set of grandchildren because of the way the numbers work - know sacrifices have to be made and the risks involved but need to be mindful of loneliness. Also be mindful that currently 50 people can space out in a queue to wait outside B and Q but an isolated great aunt is not permitted to see any family outside their home.
  • Posted by Webcraft May 06, 2020 at 09:52

    I am fortunate enough to live in a rural area where most people know each other. When out exercising conversations from a distance of more than 2 metres are commonplace, though technically against the rules. This is enormously helpful and has kept us all sane.

    We would have no problem forming a local social bubble, but many of us have families in cities and need to see them.

    My MIL has her 90th birthday this month. She is totally isolated. We intend to drive 4 hours to see her on her birthday. We will spend an hour under her first floor window chatting with her from 3+ metres away then drive home. If I am stopped and fined so be it. The restrictions on driving may seem sensible, but my partner had to spend a potentially dangerous night in hospital this week after a bicycle accident a mile from home.

    So - a lot of rambling, what are my points:

    Firstly, there are too many issues/conflicts between local friends and distant families.

    Secondly, people in theory fully supportive of lockdown are going to start making their own judgements.

    Why not simply permit outdoor gatherings of up to ten people and organise safe indoor meeting areas (NOT HOUSES) when the weather is too 'Scottish'? This to be in accompaniment with a huge public reinforcement of the need for a minimum distance to be kept and rigorous enforcement for obvious breaches?
  • Posted by Manchester8 May 06, 2020 at 10:27

    Unfortunately, the way in which the 'Bubble concept' is implemented will obviously benefit some and not others. Inevitably it will result in a greater number of contact points, and hence the risk of transmission. However, there has to be a starting point to getting back to normal.
    The simplicity of the solution, and messaging will be crucial, otherwise people will interpret the bubble concept in whatever way suits them, and this could lead to a greater spread of the disease.
    Perhaps, therefore, the starting point is to limit the inter-household contact to parents and one adult child at a time. (Vulnerable groups would continue to be excluded).
    This would mean that elderly parents could see their middle aged offspring, who in turn could have contact with their grown up children.
     Furthermore, anyone with 2 or more adult children could only see them on separate days.

     If the 'R' value is largely unaffected by this change, then the government could gradually relax the criteria, e.g. to enable the inclusion of the grandchildren, then the inclusion of other siblings etc.

    There isn't going to be a perfect solution, and single people and certain other groups will not benefit in the short term.
    This relatively small step could have a large psychological benefit for a significant proportion of the population, whilst limiting the risk of increased virus spread. In contrast, if everyone could simply choose their own 'bubble', this would result in a venn diagram type of increased contact, with everyone being exposed to indirect contact with very large numbers of other people.
  • Posted by strathbubble May 06, 2020 at 11:00

    Allowing grandparents to have some sensible contact with their grandchildren would help the mental wellbeing of all concerned. People are already flouting this guidance, which has upset my husband and I and our grandchildren. We stay a distance from both sets of grandchildren, so would therefore appreciate a common sense approach regarding travel restrictions. Introducing initial contact in outside space would be best approach initially.
  • Posted by FRWood May 06, 2020 at 11:14

    Important we get back soon to meeting people who are important to us, at a safe social distance - and this will probably be outdoors. But ' bubble' idea unworkable for number of reasons including who to choose, and difficulty of explaining. But why not raise number of people in groups who can meet up outside to 4 - regardless of which household - and leave it to adults' good sense to risk assess and determine who to see in that setting, with provisos as above? So small gatherings as precursor to larger ones at a later date?
  • Posted by Lornab May 06, 2020 at 11:40

    My understanding was that this was proposed as households rather than numbers. Even in a very small family such as mine this will cause difficult choices. ideally i would choose my two sons and their partners as my ideal bubble but this would mean that neither of their partners could see their own families. Likewise if one of my sons & their partners were to choose both sets of parents this would mean we couldn't see my other son and her parents couldn't see their other daughters. if people feel isolated at the moment imagine how much worse it will be for your mental health is your not "chosen"
  • Posted by JackJames3 May 06, 2020 at 11:40

    Personally, being prohibited from seeing a small group of people outside my household [where I'm currently staying with my parents] is the hardest restriction to live with for an extended period of time.
    I've complied with all the restrictions put in place so far, but the thought of a further three weeks [taking the total to nine weeks] without being allowed to visit my girlfriend, and my two grandparents, is utterly demoralising.
    I understand why it's necessary that I stay at home for now, and I will continue to do so. But going forward, I really hope the proposal for 'household bubbles' will be introduced.
    Obviously, it is the proposal which carries the greatest risk, as it would result in people socialising with those outside their own household - increasing the R number.
    However, it's widely recognised the current measures are not sustainable. And, for me personally, the opportunity to visit three people, in two other households, would make all the other measures far more tolerable and easier to comply with for a longer period of time.
    I can go without visiting a gym, a restaurant, a cafe, a cinema, a clothing shop, a running track, and the majority of my friends and other family for longer.
    But in return, I'd like a bit of freedom to spend time with three other people outside my household who I went from seeing regularly, to not seeing at all for six [and potentially nine] weeks.
  • Posted by liambhoy01 May 06, 2020 at 11:50

    The basic idea of this is a positive one, personally speaking we have family we miss dearly as do our kids. However, my one main negative would be I believe sadly too many people would take it to far and go about their business exactly the same as they did before all of this, thus increasing the likelihood of another potential wave 2! I have observed many many people already flouting the lockdown rules as they presently are!
  • Posted by RJW01 May 06, 2020 at 11:51

    I think the ideal of gradually increasing contact is in principle good, but this particular version has perhaps not been thought through sufficiently.

    One of the issues with the two household idea is that it does discriminate against single people households, especially if they live in a property without a garden. This would mean that the single person could only socialise with one other person from another household, and could also force them to choose invidiously which other person to include in the bubble. Single people have already suffered even more, and there is a real danger that their mental health will be adversely affected.

    Basically we need to achieve a greater degree of indoor socialising as long as social distancing is maintained at all times. Bear in mind also that this will be almost impossible to "police" and so - given that trust will be required - the rules need to include a reasonable degree of flexibility.
  • Posted by poppymckenzie May 06, 2020 at 12:09

    It's really important to start this soon as people who live on their own have been really hard hit. Even if it's just people who live alone who are allowed a bubble of one or two people it would make a massive difference to their mental wellbeing.
  • Posted by AM22 May 06, 2020 at 12:10

    The idea of the bubble is welcome and I would like to see more of my extended family but without clear guidance on what that bubble should look like it will be open to abuse. Would like the bubble to extend beyond my current location to visit family in different parts of Scotland. Suggest the bubble has a defined number of people.
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 06, 2020 at 12:24

    I fully support allowing people to visit with one or two other households. This has been rolled out in other countries already and even Guernsey with no affect on the spread of the virus. It is very important for the mental health of the nation to be able to see other family members.
  • Posted by Eddieg1962 May 06, 2020 at 12:47

    While the introduction of a fixed bubble is better than current it will bring many problems with it. This could be alleviated by allowing a further you to meet a further 2-3 households outdoors, socially distanced and with face coverings if necessary. This would enable other restrictions to remain for longer.
  • Posted by Buzz May 06, 2020 at 12:52

    The social 'bubble' concept is flawed (potentially fatally). The concept is totally contrary to the concept of minimising transmission. (The Government's own diagram on transmission highlights this). Bubbles will all-too-readily be 'breached' and a hub and spoke model of transmission will develop.
  • Posted by Jayli May 06, 2020 at 12:59

    I like the bubble idea, as long as people follow the rules. However, as a 50+ single person living alone, a long way from my family, I do not like the suggestion that it would have to be in your local area. My daughter lives 300 miles away and thus I appreciate seeing her would not be remotely possible however, my Father lives 2 hours away, my boyfriend lives an hour and 15 mins away - I would want both of them in my bubble and to be able to spend time with them.

    My mental health is suffering greatly being at home alone all the time, and as I live in the countryside I do not even see people when I go my daily walk. I am therefore very isolated and the thought of at the end of May still not being able to spend time with my Father or my boyfriends, still being isolated on my own, is awful and making what is a difficult situation even worse.
  • Posted by alogan May 06, 2020 at 13:02

    Another issue with the social bubble idea, is that it will not be an effective control on infection if key workers are part of any bubble! They automatically will make the Test, track, trace model more difficult to operate and I don't think anyone wants to penalize key workers!! Being allowed to meet one other household in any one period of 7 or even 10 days, would mean that households are fairly certain they are clear of infection from the previous meeting, before they have the next one - even if there are key workers as part of a meeting. Also, those with more than one adult child who has a family, will not have to choose to see only one section of the family. Families will not have to choose which grandparents they can see. Over a period of weeks, they will be able to see the whole of the immediate family. A bubble which means choosing some grandchildren/ grandparents over others will fail fairly quickly because it infringes peoples sense of justice and fairness and won't be adhered to
  • Posted by Daniel1100 May 06, 2020 at 13:05

    Specific provision needs to be introduced should this happen for parents who are the primary caregiver to a child while themselves having health concerns prompting shielding to ensure that they are protected if the other parent insists on visitation, therefore risking the well-being of their ex
  • Posted by TonyFinn May 06, 2020 at 13:39

    Trust people we are not children
  • Posted by TW May 06, 2020 at 13:40

    Extending the social "bubble" would make a major improvement on my personal well-being, and potentially other people in my situation. I live alone, and am now working from home as the business I work for closed the office a week before "lockdown". I further comply with the social distancing measures rigorously. This all essentially means that I have had no in-person social interactions for over 7 weeks, apart from the little I get in the 15 mins I spend food shopping once a week.

    I am able to maintain regular virtual contact with family and friends, and this definitely lessens the feeling of isolation, however it is no substitute for a personal interactions.

    Of course any relaxation of measures may have an impact on the R-number, so I realise that this is a difficult decision to be made. I am also very cognisant that the difficulties I face in my situation are different and may even pale in comparison to others, which introduces complexity into devising a policy that is fair to all. However as soon as it is practicable I would welcome the opportunity to expand the bubble even marginally. For instance to start with allowing two households who have shown known symptoms for at least 7 days to interact with each other (but no others) in an "enhanced bubble" for a period of 14 days. As long as everyone in these households remain symptomless for these 2 weeks, then further interaction with other symptomless bubbles could be permitted.
  • Posted by LauraAR May 06, 2020 at 14:12

    I like the idea of a bubble in principle but I do think it might put a lot of pressure on families. A lot of families would be put in the position of having to choose between individuals because their family may be much bigger than the number would allow. The potential spread of infection is a worry too because families are potentially providing for their elderly loved ones so whether they were in the bubble or not the risk of passing it between the households would increase
  • Posted by MrsLogan23 May 06, 2020 at 14:55

    I would certainly advocate for the ability to visit other households. As someone who has stuck to the rules so far, I miss my family terribly.

    It will be essential for the rules to be clear and absolute. The idea of a 'bubble' is foolishly idealistic (and at the very least requires more mature language). People who stick to the rules will be forced to choose their favourite grandchild / family members and exclude others. This will certainly have a negative impact.

    (For example, my husband and I would choose to include both sets of parents in our circle of allowed households. However, those two sets of parents would not choose each other over their other children and own brothers/sisters. My in-laws would want to include my sister-in law; her husband would want to include his parents; they would want to include their other son; we would want to include his wife's parents and so on.... Meanwhile the exact same thing is happening on my side of the family. My parents would want to include my uncle on my mums side and the three siblings on my dads side..... The bubble could not be contained. )

    It would be much more difficult choosing people to include/exclude from contact than seeing no one at all.
  • Posted by Suleskerry May 06, 2020 at 14:56

    Whilst I think the idea of the bubble is good it is fraught with difficulties. If like us you have a large multigenerational family who socialise regulary and provide adult and child care interchangeably, then limiting the bubble to 10 simply wouldn't work. Who you choose to be in your bubble and who you leave out woud cause immense hurt and distress for everyone.

    It would also inevitably lead to people breaking out of their bubbles.
    Might be an idea to have larger bubbles but limit the amount of interaction. So not having the whole bubble meet up at the same time and when meetings do occur agree a schedule for these so that there is a 7 day or longer interval between them.
    Testing though has to be key to any of this.
  • Posted by angusfife May 06, 2020 at 16:09

    I can see practical issues with a bubble and if pursued must not just be defined as "family" as that is discriminatory when not everyone has family that they can visit.
  • Posted by Brett May 06, 2020 at 17:07

    I would support the idea of allowing a limited number of households to meet whilst adhering to social distancing, ideally outside. Meeting other households but maintaining distancing at present is key at this point.

    It should be understood that without maintaining household distancing that this would increase interaction significantly in practice. If the bubble was to interact without adhering to household distancing guidelines.

    Many households won't agree upon who is to be in their extended bubble. Which means that each household would likely want to extend their bubble by adding at least two other households. However as the extension isn't only to their household, they are further exposed to all participants in all of the household extensions. A welvomed proposal for the future please perhaps, but too early at this point.

    The idea is valid but will lead to exponential growth if enacted at the wrong time.

  • Posted by Julia May 06, 2020 at 17:34

    Regardless of what happens to the original bubbling plan, could people who live alone “bubble” with even just one other person who also lives alone. I think this could potentially make a big impact on loneliness without causing too much additional mixing of people.
  • Posted by ElaineRietveld May 06, 2020 at 18:14

    A great idea which would have massive benefits to mental health. Would need numbers and distance ideas and the need to meet in homes rather than parks or beach.
  • Posted by julselis May 06, 2020 at 18:32

    How exactly would this work in flats? You would have families in the same close meeting their 'bubble' in the communal areas / back courts and touching everything! There appears to be no way of policing most back courts, where already we have lots of cases of multiple families in a small area (breaking social distance rules!) especially when it's sunny!

    Ten is a ridiculous number to suggest, each household should be allowed to add one or two people per HOUSEHOLD only, not for each family member! They must meet them away from their home so as to protect the safety of their neighbours (again, especially in flats!)

    This would ensure that single people living alone with no family or nearby family are not overlooked and will no longer be completely isolated. It also means people separated from their partner will be able to see their partner, and anyone lucky enough to already be living with their partner or family can choose another person or 2 to add in as a household / family....yes, that possibly may cause a few family arguments but living alone and / or being shielded hasn't been any fun either and we've managed it for 7 weeks!

    I think stopping the adverse effect on mental health of people who are alone and seeing NO ONE whilst stopping the virus spreading is the priority here now.
  • Posted by leanne1911 May 06, 2020 at 18:57

    This is a good idea but it’s a concern how this will be policed. It’s clear families are already applying the “bubble” approach already. Government needs to be absolutely clear that the virus is not going anywhere anytime soon and not applying social distancing when visiting family will hugely risk a second peak. The message needs to be clear to enforce people to comply to safe measures when visiting family.
  • Posted by alisond May 06, 2020 at 18:57

    I can see why this idea might seem an attractive one and see that something has to happen soon to assist those who are currently living alone, whose mental and physical health is undoubtedly at risk due to the restrictions.

    But I think this idea is really unworkable, likely to leave lots of the most vulnerable unprotected and likely to lead to a lot of inequity due to the fact that it's impossible to enforce, so there will be those on the one hand who (understandably) decide to see people outside their 'bubble,' those on the other who (understandably) decide to obey instructions to the letter at huge personal cost, and in short, results of inequality and high levels of non compliance. It would seem to me a lot more sensible to do what other countries have done and limit numbers of people outside a household who can gather to very small numbers (including strongly encouraging people to gather outdoors instead of indoors).

    The problems I see with social bubbles are inherent in the nature of human relationships:

    •Which of their children and grandchildren's households do grandparents choose to merge with?

    •Such of the most vulnerable and isolated who live alone are not going to be served by this (thinking especially of people with complex needs, often mental health difficulties). Many such people are very dependent on community and individual social contacts which are not based on mutually close personal relationships (all the people one feels empathy for and checks up on are not close family or friends) If small inter household meetings were permitted outdoors, could involve having a couple of friends to meet outside regularly. Human nature being what it is, few people are going to be so altruistic as to prioritise contact with the very lonely and isolated (especially those whose complex needs make them challenging to be around) when this means being unable to see extended family or close friends for months on end. Like a ghastly large-scale repetition of not being picked for a team at school, the most vulnerable are going to potentially be left in a worse boat than ever...and still with no contact with anyone.

    •The stress which making such choices will place on families makes matters unmanageable. Do we see the grandparents, if so which ones, only more impossible in case of separated families, meanwhile teenagers are agitating to see their boyfriend/best friends. How on earth are people supposed to make these calls without adding massive family fall outs to the existing stresses?

    •Does anybody seriously think that all currently single people (especially younger people) who want to form romantic relationships/ who are not really up for 8, 12 or 18 months of celibacy are going to stick to bubble rules and confine themselves to virtual dating until there's a vaccine? I find it impossible to believe that in the medium term never mind the longer term, people in large enough numbers to make this an effectively normative way of behaving are going to go against human nature in such a basic way, whatever the circumstances. I am sure some people will make such sacrifices, but frankly it's unfair to ask it of them when lots of others won't, and I can't blame anyone who decides that it's an absurd consequence to be expected to tolerate as the "new normal."

    All of the above in a context where, unless we intend to completely bankrupt ourselves, we have to get back to work at some stage. Are we seriously going to expect people to take the (moderate, managed, rational) risk of going to work, but forbid them taking the risks which would allow them to have a life worth living outside it, or to live their lives according to unnatural rules? I don't know if the intention is that restrictions on socialising outwith a bubble would be enforceable. Any attempt to enforce such a rule (and I hope it wouldn't be enforced, because I think doing so whilst complying with ECHR rights would be impossible) would be doomed to fail and would put the police in an impossible position if they were asked to try. If not enforced, I think compliance would be hopelessly patchy and therefore unfair.

    Maximum number of persons for inter-household gatherings simpler and fairer.
  • Posted by lggl May 06, 2020 at 19:06

    The spirit of the idea to start to allow some social contact is essential - however the concept of a bubble is not practical. This only works for a very specific demographic- family of 2 adults, 2 young children and some grandparents , aunts etc ...... or two families as described above who happen to be friends and also whose children are similar ages. How do you have a bubble when you have different generations , different friends for different household members etc ? Teenagers would far rather meet a couple of their friends in the park socially distanced than socialise with their parents friends !!
  • Posted by Sunshines May 06, 2020 at 19:23

    I like this idea and it could be particularly useful for people with children
     However, travel restrictions would need to be clarified.
    Health workers/key workers and their families probably have to be excluded from forming bubbles, because they would introduce increased risk.
    (As a household with a key worker in it, this would frustrate me, but I think it is necessary)
  • Posted by Pammybee May 06, 2020 at 19:48

    We live 200 miles away from my parents and my 2 sons
     I Really like the idea of having a “bubble” of households but I’m a bit worried that if I would still not be allowed to have my parents and sons in my bubble with them living further away.

    we have stuck strictly to social distancing rules but are desperate to see them now. This would all be done safely as we can travel in ourown car.

    We would speak to them outside and adhere to social distancing rules.

    I hope that when the rules are published that families that live far apart are taken in to consideration and if travel can be safely taken that it is allowed.
  • Posted by jan1960 May 06, 2020 at 19:48

    Don't agree with the "bubble" being just 10 people and geographical. i live about 300 miles from one grandchild and 400 miles from the other grandchildren. i can travel down without coming into contact with other people as dont have a reason to stop. if i am limited to an area or have to meet in a garden i am having to choose what son/daughter to visit. i think as long as people to not abuse the visitation and have loads of people coming and going within their household and use common sense we should be allowed to visit immediate family no matter where they stay
  • Posted by Gillon May 06, 2020 at 20:04

    I think it should be feasible for us to visit one documented household, and being honest this is very personal to us, We have not seen my mother in law since the lockdown and both she and we agree with the lockdown.

    However I feel that one of the first measures that should be implemented is the ability to visit one household and if this was done at the very beginning of the lockdown it would be a relatively simple process to track and trace
  • Posted by jcpren May 06, 2020 at 20:10

    At the very least, people living alone (and especially partners who live separately) should be allowed to "pair up" for visits to end the loneliness - even if the idea about bigger "social bubbles" proves too dangerous.
  • Posted by hs87 May 06, 2020 at 21:13

    Really difficult to “bubble” for us as our family consists of 3 siblings (husbands/wives/kids) etc so it would mean our parents would have to choose which children and grandchildren they see. How about making it immediate family only - parents/grandparents/siblings

  • Posted by TG May 06, 2020 at 21:16

    I agree with jcpren that people living alone (including partners who live in separate houses) should at least be allowed to join in a "social bubble" to help alleviate mental health issues & prevent the loneliness.

    Already more & more people appear to be breaking or seriously bending the rules so please allow the majority of law abiding the ability to extend their social mixing to a limited degree. Most people will still not wish to mix with too many people because of the likely increased risk to them.
  • Posted by BarbaraAnnGrigor May 06, 2020 at 21:22

    I agree with the majority of comments here - the bubble in principle is a great idea but it has to be left to families and friends themselves to manage. It cannot be so prescriptive that families are then faced with further distress in care giving and/or geographical and/or transport barriers. Government should issue guidelines and examples only... those who flaunt the law/advice will continue to do so regardless of what government say... we can only hope the majority are as sensible as they have been in full lockdown.
  • Posted by JVL May 06, 2020 at 21:51

    Whilst I desperately want to socialise with friends and family I cannot see how the “bubble” concept will work. How can it be monitored?
  • Posted by Nadia_tighe May 06, 2020 at 22:01

    Whilst I like the idea of being allowed contact with a group of people, I think that people will find what constitutes your particular “bubble” hard to grasp. Primarily I would just like to be able to see other members of my family. Perhaps start with that, then progress to “bubbles” that includes friends.
  • Posted by ZoeK May 06, 2020 at 22:01

    This virus will NOT just disappear. 
    We must learn to live with it.
    Social interaction between loved ones must be reinstated with immediate effect. 
    Mental health and domestic/child abuse is on the extreme rise. 
    As is violence in communities.
    We must think what is best for us and our own. 
    NO ONE is in control of anothers life. 
    We can NOT be kept as virtual prisoners no more.
    Restore our freedom!
  • Posted by IdaM May 06, 2020 at 22:19

    I think the social bubble concept is the logical next step in alleviating some of the detrimental social side effects of lockdown, particularly on mental health and wellbeing. As a mum to a ten-year-old only child for whom this is a very lonely time, I think having a social bubble with even just one other household would be particularly beneficial to single parents and families with children.

    Of course it comes with some risk, so I would that vulnerable groups who currently shielding should be excluded. That'll be hard on grandparents, for example, but sadly necessary.
  • Posted by IdaM May 06, 2020 at 22:21

    ... and meant to add in my previous comment - begin with outdoor contact. So meeting with members of your chosen 'bubble' in the outdoors, in open spaces, rather than in one another's homes.
  • Posted by Brownb May 06, 2020 at 22:38

    Totally agree with a small expansion, even 1 other household would make a huge difference. We have multiple households of close family locally but would be satisfied to pick one to reduce risk. Would also allow home working parents to access childcare - trying to work and home school just results in doing both badly which impacts on mental health.
  • Posted by Julzyw May 06, 2020 at 22:40

    My partner and I have 23 people in our immediate family out with our household. A "bubble" of 10 would have to be agreed over several families therefore wouldn't work. Grandparents cannot choose between grandchildren. Perhaps an agreement of outdoor gatherings of 10 at a time would be better. Those with gardens must stick to them as the outdoor venue, leaving parks and open spaces for those without. Allow transportation to outdoor venues. Maintain social distance during gatherings.
  • Posted by Anniemac May 06, 2020 at 22:45

    I think in principal it is a good idea as many people have highlighted the issues surrounding loneliness and mental health. However, I think the priorities should be that bubbles should include the most vulnerable and should start very small across two different households and then increase on an incremental basis depending on R value.. I have just read an article which says that indoor gatherings have the potential of one person infecting 10 people. Not sure that would support the R low measurement.
  • Posted by Magsathome May 06, 2020 at 22:59

    In principle a good idea to start with but will create difficulties in who to select. Perhaps a household should be 1 unit rather than the number of people in that house. Also need to clarify distance allowed to travel. Keeping it local does not work for everyone. All our close family live 30-50 miles away. If households are getting in a car and driving to an outdoor meeting point without stops, then distance should not be a limiting factor. Otherwise if family/friends living close can meet up but those separated by distance cannot then the well-being of those who cannot benefit will be worsened as they will feel penalised by geography and even more isolated.
  • Posted by Luscious79 May 06, 2020 at 23:39

    I think if you can social distance safely you should be able to visit even staying outside. This would help but to put a limit is impossible as one bubble may overlap another. Whilst out walking I have noticed the number of people have no clue what two metres is I fear this could also be an issue.
  • Posted by Lastagain May 06, 2020 at 23:50

    A social bubble of 10 will force bigger families to choose who to meet and exclude others causing distress to all involved. I would rather stay in lockdown longer and have contact with all my children/grandchildren later than be forced to choose/or decided for me who I can or cannot see
  • Posted by tentelt May 06, 2020 at 23:57

    Absolutely essential that people begin to have social contact for mental and physical health. Bubble idea initially seems attractive but too difficult to implement fairly in practice. For example we have very recently moved home, and all friends and relatives now far away. Who is in our bubble? Logically we would/will make new friends, but might initially not be in anyone's bubble, therefore, seeing others meet, would feel even more excluded.
    Also, how would it be regulated? Would we have to carry a bubble passport to prove that the people we were with were"legal"?
    Keep things simple. Allow small groups to meet, observing social guidelines. Anything else becomes cumbersome, unenforceable, unfair, and risks losing existing public support for sensible social distancing. Treat us as adults!
  • Posted by dodo1956 May 07, 2020 at 00:15

    The 'bubble' concept could actually cause more distress than we are already suffering by families having to choose who to include. It's a bit like having to choose who you're going to spend Xmas with or who to invite to your wedding! Someone always gets left out! I desperately want to see my grandson and my heart aches being apart from him - but coming from a split family he has 4 sets of grandparents and my son's new partner obviously wants to see her family. So how do they choose? It's a terrible situation. Why can't we just see close family members or friends in small numbers, preferably outside whilst maintaining social distancing? I can go to a supermarket, indoors with 40 other people 2 metres apart and this is supposed to be OK. We need groceries but we also really need our families
  • Posted by emmasmith May 07, 2020 at 00:27

    I think we should allow people to visit close family but leave it up to them to decide who that means for them. They should be encouraged to still socially distance, for example sit in the garden and sit 2 metres away from each other. If anyone experiences symptoms they isolate and so does everyone who has been in contact with them. I think it's better to allow people to visit each other at home rather than groups meeting up in public places.
  • Posted by Mummykins May 07, 2020 at 00:37

      I don't think it is a practical idea as it cannot be policed.
  • Posted by TStrachan May 07, 2020 at 01:29

    I dont see the "bubble" as feasible for reasons many others have mentioned above such as some people being excluded, having to chose one set of grandparents over another etc. It would also be impossible to police and therefore unlikely to yield a great deal of compliance. I think limiting the amount of people gathering at any one time to say perhaps 10 and asking people to maintain a PHYSICAL distance and use face masks and hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing is likely to be more sucessful.
  • Posted by PerthshireForever May 07, 2020 at 01:43

    The "household bubbles" idea bursts as soon as one looks at it with even the slightest bit of scrutiny - it is an entirely unworkable proposal and not one that could be reliably followed at all without immense goodwill from the public - which is certainly running out.

    For example, this largely ignores the needs of many young people who either live in their family home or in shared accommodation such as student flats. These people understandably want to see their close friends and significant others, but limiting it to two households per bubble or similar means that they will be unable to do so as the choice of who is included in these bubbles will largely come down to their parents, who will likely pick others.

    It seems profoundly unfair to hit young people hardest with this given they are the the generation least likely to suffer severely with coronavirus and will already be hit by the economic downturn we are facing.
  • Posted by steviegee1157 May 07, 2020 at 05:24

    I see no harm in family members being allowed to socialise if they feel it is safe to do so.
     Mental health issues are going to become more prevalent the longer you keep families apart.
    My wife and her daughter have taken to co ordinated visits to Asda so they can at least stand in the queue outside and have a catch up.
  • Posted by Littld May 07, 2020 at 06:20

    I think this is a good idea in theory but its practical implementation concerns me as it requires full compliance with the principles. I would be concerned if too many people would create too many ‘bubbles’ in order to reinstate much of their social life, especially younger people who would then transmit to the wider population interacting with them in a work environment. I just don’t think that as a nation we are sufficiently compliant with rules.
  • Posted by Jcb May 07, 2020 at 06:53

    I would advocate being able to join with another household. My father is recently bereaved as am I and he especially is on the point of mental breakdown.
    Reality is disappearing for him and I can’t access the services he needs apart from talking to a dr over the phone. We have to balance risk at this stage. Do we stay in a total lockdown and risk thousands of deaths through problems associated with isolation or do we ease slightly to allow us to care for our closest family. I appreciate people might not want to choose a “favourite” to form a bubble but in lots of cases that choice will be obvious and based on necessity.
  • Posted by christine72 May 07, 2020 at 07:16

    I support the principle of being able to see one additional small group of friends or family but cannot see how to do this that is not open to abuse. The ‘bubble’ principle seems unworkable (everyone will say they are but unlikely to be done properly). I worry for the mental health of those shielding if they are surrounded by ongoing parties (in or outside) of groups socialising regularly/loudly then saying ‘it’s allowed now’.
  • Posted by Lee_bee May 07, 2020 at 07:43

    This is sensible. Many households have been staying in and if we are talking about joining 2 or 3 of these small households into a larger unit, who then act as one household regarding self-isolation then there’s little difference between that and an existing large household. Capped numbers also seems sensible.
    Will particularly benefit those who are in their own, single parents, and carers.
  • Posted by Pittg May 07, 2020 at 07:50

    Take forward the "family bubble" idea being discussed. This will make a huge difference to families and peoples' mental health.
  • Posted by StaceyM91 May 07, 2020 at 08:09

    In favour of small amounts of contact with limited groups. Perhaps one/two households.

    The idea of having this contact exclusively outdoors makes me wary. Individuals who struggle going outdoors due to mental or physical health will be unfairly excluded once again.
  • Posted by sp3ccylad May 07, 2020 at 08:55

    I would LOVE this to happen. Due to circumstances involving family care, my wife and I found ourselves stranded in separate households at the beginning of lockdown. We’ve not been closer than 2m from each other since this dreadful business began.

    My wife is my rock, my soulmate and I pine for her daily. I live in fear of something happening to her or me while we’re apart and I fear our mental health is suffering.

    I miss my wife and my kids miss their mother. Strolls out at a 2m distance just don’t cut it for them.

    Now, I realise this has to be policed carefully - but I believe an overwhelming proportion of Scots, the unfussy majority, are responsible, decent folk. The astonishing compliance with lockdown has proven that.

    For the sake of kids that miss their grandparents, for families like ours that became accidentally separated, please consider this humanitarian relaxation.
  • Posted by anniefoley May 07, 2020 at 09:23

    I like the idea of said bubble,but it would have to include all grandchildren and children even living in different towns in scotland.I have a 2yr old grandson who lives at my address but is allowed to go and stay with his mother for severel nights.can,t understand why my other grandchildren can,t come to stay with me overnight or even visit.there is no difference as grandsons mother has contact with other people who live with her .
  • Posted by Rolca123 May 07, 2020 at 09:28

    This should be the first priority. I would be an advocate of meeting up with friends and family in a "social bubble" in parks/gardens/outdoor open spaces. Mental health is affecting all of us just now so, and I am aware of members of my own family who are suffering.

    I would also agree that risking vulnerable groups is too much too soon so, I would advocate excluding those in these groups for now.
  • Posted by Ossian May 07, 2020 at 09:36

    I think we really need to see more people as the current situation is really damaging. The main issues is that it will be so hard to choose - do you pick your mum, your partner or your best friend?

    The current form seems to assume everyone lives in a happy nuclear family. In blended families how on earth do you decide who gets to pick the additional household? What about friendship groups which are larger than 10 when you include peoples other halfs? Will you just need to pick you faves and everyone else will have to deal with it? What if you are the one abandoned?

    Perhaps just suggesting we all minimise social contact, but see people if we want to. We are all being very sensible and I am sure we could handle this.
  • Posted by Outdoorfamily May 07, 2020 at 10:18

    I love this idea but can see huge mistreatment of it. Who do you exclude from your bubble if you have a large extended family. And what if someone in your bubble doesn't believe in isolation anyway, how would a bubble 'deal' with someone who consistently mixes with a wide range of people, there is a potential for significant family rifts to occur.

    Whatever happens though, I do think these gatherings should be outdoors and with masks to reduce infection risk.. Remember that many people in these bubbles may well be high or very high risk
  • Posted by AA1234 May 07, 2020 at 10:35

    This is a great idea. However think that initially people should be allowed to meet in small outside gatherings. Also think that single people/separated couples should be able to visit one other household to reduce effect current restrictions are having on mental health.
  • Posted by NKTC May 07, 2020 at 11:01

    While this seems appealing on first thought, I don't think this is practical. People wont respect whatever number of households is stipulated, it wont be possible to monitor or enforce it, and will generate increased travel outwith local areas for folk who would like their family living in other areas to be their chosen 'household' (eg my family lives over 100 miles away).
  • Posted by MPBinEd May 07, 2020 at 11:01

    As a parent with 3 children under 4 years old I can say without a doubt that families need this! We have seen a change, particularly with our oldest boy (only aged 3) in lockdown where he is getting increasing frustrated by the current lockdown and inability to interact with his wider family (Aunties and Grandparents). We don't have a garden so the kids are indoors 22-23 hours a day and this is too much for the little ones to endure for much longer!!

    We as parents also need this as a morale booster. We are trying to work from home, continue to be productive members of society and heed the Government advice to stay home, but having the help of extended family with the kids would be really helpful for us at this time! We are all for keeping the 'bubble' to 2-3 other households and tracking all health changes within the bubble.

    My wife and I would want to see this bubble include outdoor and indoor ability to gather with others in the bubble and to assist with minding kids. We are missing our contact with our extended family and would like this restored ASAP please!!

    Thank you and praying that those who are sick make a swift and full recovery! Thank you to everyone in the NHS, other key workers & Government who have worked so hard to keep us all safe during this pandemic!
  • Posted by WilfredLawrieNicholasJohnson May 07, 2020 at 11:11

    Seems like a good idea. But the numbers advised to the public should be kept low as people will abuse it and sneak in extra to the bubble anyway. 4-6 people for example.
  • Posted by annetrant May 07, 2020 at 11:56

    This is superficially attractive, but has many issues, the main one being that most people socialise in networks, so how do we form separate bubbles. Also how do we ensure that those who most need to mix a bit more (those living alone) are prioritised. That said, family bubbles and similar close relationships (eg established partners not living together) would be good.
  • Posted by CharlB May 07, 2020 at 11:57

    It would be helpful if people could travel a bit e.g. to visit elderly relatives or friends who are isolating alone. As others have pointed out this should, as far as possible, be at a safe distance. Also it shouldn't matter whether the people are friends or family, the point is that they are important in our lives. If work is to resume then having the possibility of bubbles where there is more contact (e.g. for caring for children) will be key for some people. The guidelines should be really clear so we understand properly what is allowed.
  • Posted by MC4268 May 07, 2020 at 12:06

    I understand those who are missing family and the help they can provide with childcare (I have a child on the autism spectrum and type 1 diabetes and this is tough), but … there are a number of problems with this idea for my family. First, how do you decide who to include in the household bubble? For example, my husband has grown up children who live with their mum and her partner. They have not been isolating like us. Three of their household are working, two of them with the public. My child has been in hospital numerous times just with bugs. I can't risk them coming into our house and having contact. I would only have contact with family who are shielding completely as I won't risk my daughter being seriously ill.

    Household 'bubbles' would, I think, need to have agreed rules about social distancing outside of the bubble and agreement on what is essential to go out for, and what is really non-essential.
    I can see a situation where everybody starts flouting the lockdown rules and we all end up back at the start of a longer lockdown … and more seriously ill people. My daughter is struggling with this, but Covid-19 would be far worse for her. We will be shielding, including from family, until either a vaccine is available or we have a much better understanding of this disease and how to treat it.

  • Posted by Ross May 07, 2020 at 12:50

    I do not envy people having to make these tough decisions.
    Bubbles only have a hope of working if supported by other measures, which scotgov is planning for.

    We may need to consider different types of bubbles, or it could lead to a mass return to normality too early.

    Friend bubbles- number limits must be set, situations for gathering defined i.e. detailed guidance essential.
    Teens need their friends even more than other age groups. Parents need the guidance to wave at teens who will push on any ease up very hard.
    Family bubbles - need info about travel for distant close relatives. Sensible limits are easily applied for the average family. Allow for larger families to work shifts in a month, or something.

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

    Although the 'bubble' proposal is welcome if it is the only way to ease social isolation, it unfairly discriminates (as do the current lockdown restrictions) against single people living alone.

    The current discourse tends to speak mainly to the traditional idea of family based households. I would like the government to consider the case of the third of the population of Scotland who apparently live alone (see source below). For those, it is often the case that two or three close friends (including non-cohabiting partners perhaps) perform the same role of family in terms of easing loneliness and promoting health and wellbeing. I would argue that characterising these support networks as friendship 'groups' of the kind that are self contained and able to form an enclosed bubble, is inaccurate. It is just as likely (as is the case with myself and all of my close friends who live alone) that they consist of overlapping friend networks and therefore are impossible to 'bubble' in the way that is described.

    I appreciate this is a difficult problem to address, but if social distancing measures extend for any lengthy period of time, this must be taken into consideration. 'Bubbles' are a good idea but will not work for everyone.

    "More than a third of households in Scotland are filled by single occupants, about 885,000 people.
    An ageing population and an increase in younger people living alone are among the reasons for the change.The number of households in Scotland rose to 2.48 million in 2018, according to new figures published by National Records of Scotland (NRS). The report "Estimates of Households and Dwellings in Scotland, 2018" shows that over the last 10 years the number of households in Scotland has grown by about 139,000 (6%)." source BBC news website
  • Posted by HelenB May 07, 2020 at 13:47

    We have 3 grown up children nearby each with a family of 4. Trying to choose who to include in our bubble will certainly be Sophie's choice.
    Policing will be impossible.
    Travel is an issue, those closest to us emotionally are often not those closest to us emotionally
    I think implementation of this idea will be a nightmare and the benefits minimal.
  • Posted by Christineannesmith6390 May 07, 2020 at 13:50

    I am desperate to see my grand children who live an hour away in the car. My big concern is that there could be a limit to how far you could travel. Not all families live near by each other. Please please don't restrict travel distance. As long as anyone travels from A to B without stopping and the bubble meet outside whilst social distancing where is the harm? However, the reality is that young children will want cuddles so I'm not sure how this could be avoided. Maybe to reduce risk of spreading the virus, I'd have hand sanitiser handy and a face covering on.
  • Posted by HelenB May 07, 2020 at 13:54

    We have 3 grown up children nearby each with a family of 4. Trying to choose who to include in our bubble will certainly be Sophie's choice.
    Policing will be impossible.
    Travel is an issue, those closest to us emotionally are often not those closest to us emotionally
    I think implementation of this idea will be a nightmare and the benefits minimal.
  • Posted by WorkingGlasgowMum May 07, 2020 at 13:59

    This has to happen for everyone’s mental health.

    The social bubble could be increased initially to one other household, within the next week. Over 70s should be allowed to decide if they can associate with one other household.

    Open air meet ups for example could be allowed with an extra 1 or 2 households. Let’s face it neighbours are talking over garden fences anyway.
  • Posted by Osprey39 May 07, 2020 at 14:32

    Close family provide an essential support network, both physically & mentally. Priority should be considered for allowing family members to meet even if they live some distance away.
  • Posted by eve3981 May 07, 2020 at 14:52

    I do not agree that the “bubble” is the best way forward.
    A bubble of elderly friends & relatives would be at high risk should one member contract Covid.19. Young People meeting up under the terms of the 'bubble' could take the virus home to vulnerable adults in their household.
    I think it would be more realistic to trust people to use common sense and maybe have an area of a specific radius (perhaps 5 - 10 miles) where people can meet with friends & family initially using social distancing and responsible precautions. Applying the rule to outdoor areas only for a period of 1 month initially. If this kind of social interaction does not lead to a rise in cases of Covid.19 then the parameters could be expanded to indoors and or a larger area.
  • Posted by RosG May 07, 2020 at 15:19

    Hard to see how this would work, as everyone in one bubble would have to be in agreement to be in the same bubble with the same people.

    Another option would be to allow people to meet with others outdoors, with masks being made compulsory and everyone continuing the 2m distancing at all times. This would have the benefit of allowing people to be in contact with a wider number of people fairly quickly. It could also be combined with staying within a certain distance of your own home
  • Posted by hughtooby May 07, 2020 at 15:52

    I think this is an excellent idea. There is a balance between increasing R and the risk of CV-19 on the one hand and the damaging effects of social isolation on all the other aspects of physical and mental health on the other - the latter are particularly acutely felt by those like me who live alone. Being part of a bubble with close relatives would have little effect on R and a massive effect on other areas of well being. Therefore I believe it should be introduced as soon as possible and well before the 28 May.
  • Posted by DRM May 07, 2020 at 15:53

    It's understandable that folks are keen to visit with close family members during this period of "lockdown" but it's difficult to see how this could be managed in a simple and practical way - without the whole process being abused by some.

    "Contact with" would have to be defined and any such process might effectively encourage visits to elderly parents or those who are "shielded" at this time. Not a great idea.

    This proposal is well intended but not a "goer" for now - perhaps one for the future when we have a very rigorous system in place for "test and trace".
  • Posted by fishwhisperer May 07, 2020 at 16:04

    If this idea were implemented, then it would need to be accompanied by a series of examples of what might constitute the bubble AND a very clear message about how to make it as safe as possible and minimise risk (eg if at all possible, sit outside and at a distance, wear face coverings, etc.), AND that it's not a 'back to the norm' but is still part of the overall aim of reducing spread of the virus and minimising avoidable extra burden on the NHS whose resources are required for treating CoVid patients as well as other conditions.

    On the other hand, it's perfectly possible to maintain just as good relationships with friends and relatives via the phone, e-mail, social media and video-type contact if required - for those not used to it, it may take a little adjusting to. Those whose friends and relatives live abroad, and many others in other situations, can testify to how face-to-face contact is not necessary to maintain good relationships.
  • Posted by Arual May 07, 2020 at 16:04

    I welcome this idea but wonder about how much of a bubble it is when people within the bubble are frontline keyworkers? For example, my parents are both NHS workers but I would absolutely want them to be in our bubble.
  • Posted by Pragmatist May 07, 2020 at 17:38

    I do not think the bubble idea is practical as its written in the document. In particular the suggestion that people would need to move in and out of isolation numerous times is not sustainable. We can't keep our lives and jobs running if we have to constantly drop in and out when we may be well ourselves. I think easing social restrictions alongside TTIS while continuing with gpod hand hygiene, protect the vulnerable etc is more pragmatic
  • Posted by NH May 07, 2020 at 19:55

    OK in principle but hard to know if people are genuinely sticking to the same group of people. Also, if some are on public transport and at work with other staff they have actually been mixing in much wider numbers.
  • Posted by Dereklangfield May 07, 2020 at 21:04

    I think the idea of a bubble is unworkable and unenforceable. I agree with other comments which have suggested not being so prescriptive about the “who” and concentrate on the “how”. It has to be based on trust that most people are not reckless and would not want to put their family and friends at risk. I desperately want to see my children and grandchildren, but only in a way that minimises the risks.
  • Posted by Rachel_T1502 May 07, 2020 at 21:26

    How about initially allowing groups of max 2 to meet outdoors eg once per week as they have done in other countries, (but not stipulating that people must stay in a fixed bubble as I don't think this idea would be workable in practice) numbers/frequency could gradually increase according to science as soon as this could be done safely. This would be immensely beneficial to the mental health of the significant number of people who are living alone currently, many of whom are really struggling.
  • Posted by LMStatistician May 08, 2020 at 00:46

    1) We are getting to the safest point for some grandparents to be in contact with their grandchildren... even at the moment we could isolate for 2 weeks and surely then would be fairly safe to visit (we barely leave the house, wash all items entering the house etc.). Once more workplaces open and children go back to school this will not be possible and the risks will rise. Also thinking ahead to Christmas (and there is no way I am leaving my recently widowed mother alone at Christmas) if employers and schools were more flexible about the 2 weeks leading up to Christmas then families could isolate in preparation for spending the festivities together. I also think that people are going to need to be allowed to travel to see family. As I said my mother was widowed a couple of years ago... my Dad just died one day agd 64 no warning. There is a balance to be had here even though we are trying to protect relatives there is a chance that we may never see them again if we stay away too long.

    2) If you are going to keep us away from friends and family (even outside meetings while socially distancing) I think the public needs a clearer explanation of why this is. Is it simply to stop the spread, if so that seems to be saying we cannot be trusted to be responsible in our meetings and correctly distance ourselves (perhaps guidance could be issues regarding wind direction and length of time based on scientific evidence). Surely if visiting family outside in the garden at a distance is risky then none of us should be going near supermarkets! If it is to do with accidents then surely the NHS is getting close to being able to deal with the increases in these? If it is so that the virus is potentially introduced into the environment in different locations can we please see the scientific evidence for how long it may last outside and visits could maybe be restricted to private property.
  • Posted by owenc00 May 08, 2020 at 07:47

    Pretty soon many of us are going to start up our own bubbles anyway. Let's hear some formal advice from Government on this, and give people a sign that things can improve even just a little.
  • Posted by Yvonne May 08, 2020 at 08:16

    I really like this idea for when it is safer to do so. I think it would ease people back into being able to socialise at a safer speed while boosting mental health. I would assume it would need to be kept quite strict, however.

    I see this is being carried out in New Zealand already. It would good to see how they get on first as a test. Also, if you're able to get any feedback from their government on this idea on lessons learnt that might help.
  • Posted by ProudTeuchter May 08, 2020 at 11:03

    "Bubbles " are fine but we also need to consider each individual within that 'bubble' and how at risk they are of dying should they contract the virus.
  • Posted by andyglasouth May 08, 2020 at 11:14

    as mentioned above "A simpler idea might be to allow individuals/family groups to meet in clusters of up to 8 people for a maximum of one hour per day as long as the meetings were outdoors, the 2m rule was still observed between households and the meetings took place in daylight hours and within reasonable walking distance of home. "

    I support this idea, it's low risk, simple to understand and could be policed better than other ideas.
  • Posted by ChrisK May 08, 2020 at 11:38

    This comment has been removed by a moderator.

  • Posted by swansonj87 May 08, 2020 at 12:28

    I would suggest any "bubble" would have to be small- perhaps a handful of people. Regulating/policing larger bubbles would be very difficult and as such could risk increasing the R number.
  • Posted by Kim May 08, 2020 at 13:15

    I personally only have one son and two grandchildren who live relatively local to me within a 10 drive. Prior to lock down I was looking after my grandchildren daily taking them to school an nursery and they came and stayed every other weekend with me.
    I think families should be able to meet and be trusted to know if there is risk which they should avoid. We talk about grown up conversation. treat us like grown ups and allow us to assess within our own families.
    I think limited to 10 people would suit me, but am aware other families have larger numbers. My brother in-law has 7 boys with some who have wife's and children., and their wifes also have their own family members.
    it is hard but we need to start to move out of the lock down
  • Posted by IainS May 08, 2020 at 13:48

    No one wants to give / bring covid into their family.

    Where separately living, and socially isolating in separate groups, I cannot see the risk in them meeting up.

    It would make this process much more bearable
  • Posted by Cookie2 May 08, 2020 at 14:33

    While this seems to be a very good idea in principle, I feel that it could be very difficult to manage in practice for large/extended families which could in turn cause further own mental health issues. For small families who are self isolating then this option, allowing close contact, may be workable and indeed of real benefit to those who live alone or need support with a young family/ disabled person for example.

    However I think an alternative to the bubble idea also needs to be looked at where small family groups (e.g. from no more than 2 or 3 households can meet outdoors, observing physical distancing in the garden of one of the households, or if not available then another large open space (local to one of the families). Time limitations / or number of times in a week for example could also be limited, initially at least.

    Another factor that should be considered here is distance of travel to meet. The term 'local' is used a lot - but what is local? I think this should be clarified e.g. as being no further than can be travelled on foot, bicycle or as a single journey without stopping in a car carrying only members of he same household. Both our son and daughter and their families live 15 and 40 miles from us - easily drive-able distances - we live in a rural location and would be very depressed if the option to see family opened up but we were restricted from this purely on the distance we are from them.
  • Posted by JackieH May 08, 2020 at 16:51

    Close family should be allowed to meet initially without having to choose. Asking people to choose will only cause more stress than is around at the moment.
  • Posted by matt May 08, 2020 at 18:51

    I totally agree with the concept. I’m separated from my girlfriend by only 30 miles. We have been self isolating for the period of the lock down but it is now starting to have serious mental health affects on both of us. No children in either household nor any symptoms.
    Trust us sensible public to carry out family visits safely and responsibly.
  • Posted by WBRnotes May 08, 2020 at 19:42

    How does a bubble work in practice? Won't each person within the bubble be going to work or into shops, thereby bringing risk into the bubble?

    Will everyone within the bubble be expected to social distance when they meet each other?

    Would it help if those in the bubble wear masks when they meet?

    Or as some people have suggested, could those in the bubble meet outside and social distance thereby limiting the risk of infection?

    Self isolation for 10 people if one person showed symptoms could also limit the number of people able to help others in a group out when they need shopping, dog walking etc.
  • Posted by CHill May 08, 2020 at 21:12

    My partner lost his Mum a few months ago and his Dad lives 2 hours away with his brother. It is hard not visiting in the midst of family loss but we doubt feeling safe to do this in the foreseeable future even if "family bubbles" were allowed.

    His Dad is especially precious now and is over 80 with some health issues (but not shielded). We wouldn't want to introduce the virus inadvertently by visiting while being asymptomatic, especially after we've returned to work from furlough and feel more likely to be exposed to infection.

    Staying outside and social distancing during visit would feel very strange but might make it possible if all of us felt comfortable about a visit and discussed a plan first.
  • Posted by Carolscat May 08, 2020 at 23:54

    I hate the bubble idea. Asking families to choose between each other is as bad as not seeing them at all in my opinion. I'm desperate to see my family, but I would hate for us all to have to try to make these decisions. We should be able to meet outdoors with social distancing with any family members. I'm sure nobody wants to put their own family at risk and therefore we can be trusted as human beings to be sensible about seeing each other.
  • Posted by FinnFinn May 09, 2020 at 00:21

    I think this idea could work but would need careful management. One way to manage a "bubble" would be for the individuals where possible in the bubble to have the track and trace app. The individuals could therefore be contacted immediately if any one of them developed symptoms. The number of households that could meet should also be limited in the first instance. For example initially two households with one or two adults but including all children. Many single parent families are living on their own not being able to see their partners which is undoubtedly causing stress and mental health issues. These "bubbles" should not include individuals who are high risk or shielding. The number of households in the "bubble" could be increased as time progresses.
  • Posted by Heathertheblether May 09, 2020 at 02:20

    I understand the idea of bubbles, but cannot see how it could be monitored. It would rely completely on goodwill and common sense. Most people understand that the more people you interact with, the higher the risk of infection and I think that most sensible people would see the need to gradually expand their bubbles rather than throwing a family party.

    I am in a 'lucky' situation at present. My daughter and son-in-law are both shift-working key workers. The nursery school provision for key workers is not ideal for shift workers, so I have been baby sitting as required with my grandson being dropped off at my house. I suppose I have been living in a small bubble since lockdown started. I shop once or twice a week (I shop for elderly parents as well) and go out to walk with my dogs every day. This could be looked at as showing that small bubbles can work.

    I appreciate that if we are to be able to visit other households, there may be a need to restrict travel distance initially, but wonder if there could be an indication of when we could drive to see family members. It will be no use if the only family you have is an hour's drive away and you can only visit households in your local area. I can see problems here with the risk of car breakdown, would the RAC and other rescue services be available? There would also be an increase in work for all of the rescue services as I'm sure that the would be many more accidents to deal with.

     There are many who seem to think that Covid 19 only happens to other people and they are probably meeting up with whoever they like anyway. I have read comments saying that we are all going to get this virus anyway and we should just suck it up and get on with life because the hospitals are nowhere near capacity. This fills me with horror. I realise that, over time until we have effective treatments or a vaccine, many thousands more will be infected and many of those will die, but the idea that the hospitals will cope regardless in the meantime is close on moronic. I worked in the NHS for 40yrs and know how the annual flu epidemics affected normal working of the surgical unit I worked in. I don't think that some people understand the concept of exponential growth in hospital admission numbers with an illness like this. 2-3 weeks of socialising as we please could have the hospitals bursting at the seams with hospital staff overwhelmed , then the newly converted hospital in Glasgow full shortly after with all available ventilators in the country in use.

    I am completely happy to continue to take things slowly at first. We are lucky that other countries are doing this before us so we will have more of an idea what will work.
  • Posted by FM79 May 09, 2020 at 09:21

    Agree that we should be able to meet up with other people however do not think a bubble approach will work. Setting a maximum number will cause more anxiety and conflict if people have to choose who is in or out of their bubble. Allow people to make adult decisions about seeing and spending time with others outside their own household, don't imposed restrictions that are number driven which would also be virtually impossible to enforce.
  • Posted by LMD2020 May 09, 2020 at 09:32

    The bubble is a good idea, but we need to think carefully about size. 10 is too small unless it excludes children. 12 would be better and could include 3 average size families.
  • Posted by scotchick May 09, 2020 at 10:51

    I think the opportunity for seeing a limited number of people outside household will be important to implement when the R number reduces to a safer level. There are many people who live on their own who have had no human contact with anyone and from a mental health perspective this is important. I do however appreciate that this will be difficult to police and will be very reliant on people doing the right thing.
  • Posted by Casta196669 May 09, 2020 at 12:59

    I would like the bubble idea, I have two daughters and 5 children within 15 minutes, we have been all been isolating and limiting contact with out side unlike some.
    I would like to see them soon, it will come at a risk.
    Going out the door is a risk tho and if I take precautions and adhere to government instructions I don't see why can't see them
  • Posted by Pegger May 09, 2020 at 13:14

    Allowing more social contact is the one change that would have the biggest positive impact in my opinion. I say this as someone who is living alone, cut off from my partner, with no family nearby. But I'm sure most people would find lockdown much easier to bear, and feel more able to comply with other rules for longer, if they could see loved ones.

    Many commenters have raised the point that social bubbles/visiting other households would be impossible to enforce. This is true. But even the current rules are nearly impossible to enforce. There is very little to stop people from visiting others, especially locally. So lockdown already relies on people's compliance and goodwill anyway. What we need is clear communication of the guidelines and risks in order to encourage people to make good choices. If people know they are putting their loved ones at risk, they will be more careful.

    I find the concept of "bubbles" somewhat problematic for reasons already outlined by others:
    1) social difficulties in choosing who to include/exclude
    2) public health risk if bubbles are not strictly separated
    If this strategy is introduced, it needs to be extremely clear that bubbles cannot overlap. 10 people means 10 people not seeing anyone else. *Not* each individual person choosing any 9 others to see.

    I like the idea of allowing contacts with any close family members or partners. But there have to be allowances for singles with no close family nearby to see friends instead, otherwise this rule will exclude those who are most isolated already.

    Extending social contacts does not have to happen all at once. What about starting by allowing those living alone to join *one* other household. This seems like a modest step that would relieve loneliness for a significant segment of the population already, with limited risks. Then if we do not see a spike in infections (after say 3 weeks), social contact could be extended further in gradual steps.
  • Posted by Weegingha May 09, 2020 at 14:49

    I wish to leave my house, virus free, get in my car parked on private land in my garden, drive 39 miles to Dundee, to meet with my sister and brother in law, both virus free, remaining in car for whole journey.
    Park at their gate and walk into a big garden where 2 metre is easily upheld, thereby enjoying company between four of us.
    We know we are safe, yet this administration....not a government in Scotland, deems that we cannot.
    We meet between ourselves and no one else.
    Where is the common sense?
  • Posted by waxwing May 09, 2020 at 16:11

    This is a good idea, but complex to implement. We have got to allow more social contact one way or another.
  • Posted by rosemarym May 09, 2020 at 16:21

    Sounds good but this has not been thought through properly. There can only be one group in the bubble and how can this group be prevented from meeting up with others and forming another bubble. However it keeps us all busy thinking about it.
  • Posted by Wulan19 May 09, 2020 at 17:50

    @ Weegingha , how do you know you and your sisters are virus free. Only people that have tested positive and recovered can say this, even then there is no conclusive evidence that you can't get it again. If your not in this category you should presume your infected for the safety of others. Not everyone infected has symptoms, but they can still infect others.
  • Posted by AliAli May 09, 2020 at 17:51

    I like the idea of this, I'm a single mother of 3 and working from home so I'm completely isolated from my family and friends and solely responsible for the children! I have to go out for the shopping and all other needs on my own as my children have only been in my back garden since lockdown, however I fear going for groceries in case I catch the virus as who will take care of the children if I'm I'll with Covid!

    The idea of bubble is fair enough but I feel the bubble could become too large, eg, I see my parents, then I see my brother, his wife saw her parents, then she saw her sister and brother in law, he also saw his parents! My parents then saw their brothers and sisters who saw their children (my cousins) allowing a bubble would surely for at least the start of this being allowed would result in people going to see everyone which could cause a spike in infection! I know I would instantly take the children to my parents and then my brothers, they would then go and see who they need to see!

    I hate lockdown, I hate the isolation and I despise covid but I trust our First minister and I trust the scientists! I'll happily wait until the time is right, much rather wait than face the prospect of never seeing them again due to death from Covid! The economy will recover, we need to preserve life at all costs!
  • Posted by Christina May 09, 2020 at 18:21

    Yes! I live alone with mental health issues and I have no best friends or family to facecall. I fell deep into a dark stage of wanting life to end when I was told I was not allowed to see a single person "but hey, just call your friends" was the advice given which was like a slap in the face. To be able to go for walks with people I'm not close enough to feel comfortable calling, but instead could meet for exercise or something would mean a big improvement in my mental health. I feel too guilty doing so if not officially allowed. More consideration needs to be given to people who live alone who may have nobody to call. Being allowed to meet up with a few other people could save lives.
  • Posted by NHY May 10, 2020 at 11:00

    My ideal bubble would include a parent, a brother and a partner who all live in different households. Each of their bubbles might include other close friends and in-laws. And so it would ripple out. I don't think that's appropriate and so because i am the carer for my parent who would also want to see a friend, that would mean i still can't see my partner. In order to see my partner who also has an elderly parent they look after, my parent wouldn't be able to see anyone else, and i can't ask them to do that.
  • Posted by Scotland_is_flatlining May 10, 2020 at 11:06

    Social media twaddle.
    What prevents one person joining multiple bubbles?
    How is it enforced?
    Who really wants to put their liberty in the hands of a bubble?
  • Posted by lalaw May 10, 2020 at 12:51

    Bubbles are ‘exclusive’ ie more people will be excluded than included. The distress of those excluded will likely last long after the lockdown has ended.
  • Posted by Moj14 May 10, 2020 at 12:53

    Personally I feel the next stage we would naturally form bubbles anyway, seeing our closest friends family without wanting to extend far beyond that, continuing good guidance around social distance, hand washing and off course self isolating if showing symptoms. This virus has made us scared and extremely cautious that caution will not naturally disappear over night and sadly probably not for some time to come which is why support is important
  • Posted by kpm321 May 10, 2020 at 16:56

    I agree and would be especially easy to visit those with gardens and stay outside, but still have the mental health benefits of socialising.
  • Posted by mina412 May 10, 2020 at 17:30

    I don't think the Bubble idea will work. It needs just one person to break that Bubble and other people can be infected, then if each person out of the Bubble visits someone else who they consider to be in their Bubble and so on and so forth, I don't think it will take much time to be back where we started. Especially since this virus is not going anywhere.
     How about as a suggestion, you are allowed contact with one other household only and ONLY that household? The households monitor their situation for three or four weeks to see if infection occurs. Yes, family members or friends may be left out, but it's peoples lives we are talking about. Not a time for hurt feelings. Maybe over time it can be increased with the individuals involved monitoring the situation before they move to the next household they wish to be in contact with. Making sure each one in turn is only in contact with the two or three they have chosen. Leaving 3-4 weeks in between. Households would be easier to monitor than Bubbles of individual people.
    In the 'Shielding ' group. Would it be possible to allocate ONE family member or friend to visit the shielded person? If possible a low risk fitter family member/friend and ONLY that person till the situation improves? Obviously incorporating good hand hygiene and social distancing? Families can decide between them who that is to be. We need to put hurt feelings etc aside for the moment. Do you want your family member /friend to be lonely while shielding? Or would it be nice for them to have someone visit? We need to think about other people not ourselves.
    I was thinking that it would perhaps prevent the shielded person from being too isolated or becoming depressed but puts them at minimal risk (hopefully). During the summer months, could the shielded person have the nominated visitor/family/friend in their garden(if they have one)? If we start off with low numbers visiting or having contact, making sure the virus is not present then very slowly increasing contact. Would that be a safer way to start?
  • Posted by carerbear May 10, 2020 at 18:05

    Too confusing.
  • Posted by Islander64 May 10, 2020 at 20:45

    Its a good idea and would help greatly with general morale. Please bear in mind that some families live a fair distance apart...
  • Posted by YG May 10, 2020 at 20:46

    This or a variation of it, is an imperative and should be one of the first itens on the Scottish governments agenda.
  • Posted by BKa19 May 10, 2020 at 21:26

    Why can you not do this at least just for non cohabiting partners? This will greatly increase mental standing and reduce stress for a great many people.
  • Posted by Elgin May 10, 2020 at 22:37

    People had socially distanced street parties for VE day celebrations and come out socially distanced to clap for the NHS as encouraged/supported by all 4 nations so why not be able to have socially distanced meetings on people's front lawns/driveways to celebrate family events such as birthdays and to support the lonely and isolated. Already it's seems the locals in our cities are frequenting the parks and sitting around, sun bathing and phone gazing with police hardly intervening, seems unfair on us who are staying in.
  • Posted by jeankemp May 11, 2020 at 02:28

     Good idea, but complicated to implement.
  • Posted by JuliaM May 11, 2020 at 08:09

    Bubbles are too difficult to monitor & difficult choices would have to be made.

  • Posted by Fersfarm May 11, 2020 at 09:54

    I like it in theory but in practice think it's a nightmare - lots of difficult choices which could be divisive, lots of people who need social contact who might not get included in anyone's bubble and difficult to manage/monitor
  • Posted by sconnor May 11, 2020 at 12:12

    Now that we're starting to report considerably less Covid-19 cases and deaths we should be looking to enable families and friends to responsibly socialise whilst adhering to social distancing guidelines similar to that of many European countries.

    It's expected that the detrimental impact on peoples mental health and wellbeing as a result of the necessary 'lockdown' will be catastrophic and felt for the foreseeable future.

    Individual worries and anxieties can be eased and reduced to an extent by allowing social interaction with guidance. This could be achieved by limiting the number of people socialising and the time they're permitted to visit and socialise (e.g. curfews).

    Those individuals who are in the 'shielding' group should be advised to continue with social isolation for the meantime until further information/data is available to safely allow them to reintegrate with wider society.
  • Posted by andrewkyle89 May 11, 2020 at 12:35

    We really need to be allowed to be able to see one household other than our main one. It’s been 9 weeks now since I’ve seen my girlfriend.
  • Posted by EGJ May 11, 2020 at 13:36

    In a nutshell - having my family alive & safe is more important than visiting them during this pandemic. We have telephones & social media, we can wave in a window or have a chat from the garden gate at a safe distance as we drop off essential goods.
  • Posted by sinderins May 11, 2020 at 14:32

    As many others have said, the bubble idea is not an easy option for numerous reasons. I do think that neighbours could be allowed to meet up outdoors in each other's gardens provided the garden can be accessed without going through the house and that social distancing can be maintained. No mutual handling of items such as cups, mugs, spoons, plates or glasses etc . can be allowed. If people wish to share time outdoors over a mug of tea or coffee, they should bring their own and take it away with them again. This could also apply to family gatherings outdoors within people's own gardens. In both cases, numbers would have to be limited depending not only on the size of garden but also on the need to respect others nearby. We shouldn't be allowing garden parties with music for example.
     Further down the line once restrictions are lifted a wee bit more, we could allow indoor gatherings of a group of people who have a history of regularly meeting and/or eating together. I would think this would generally apply to family groups but I wouldn't wish to be too restrictive as there are others with no family nearby who entertained or were entertained on a regular basis before quarantine began. These suggestions would contribute to the mental health and personal well being of the elderly and those who live alone.

  • Posted by Ains14 May 11, 2020 at 15:15

    We really need to be able to see at least one other household. I've not seen my partner for the duration of lockdown and it's taking a toll on my quality of life. I don't really mind about more outside exercise, shops, restaurants opening back up etc. Managing fine with that and all other social distancing measures. I just would like to be able to visit my partner. We weren't able to lockdown together for a few reasons and as the weeks go on its getting harder and harder.
  • Posted by LOBBIG May 11, 2020 at 15:42

    This would be a positive move forward but very hard to control. Vulnerable people would likely not benefit from it. It is a good move but should come at the right time.
  • Posted by Qwerty123 May 11, 2020 at 17:32

    I don't care how complicated it gets or how many awkward conversations I need to have explaining to people my bubble's full.

    All I really want as an easing of lockdown is a way to see immediate family, regardless (providing we can safely travel on foot, by bike or by care) of distance and taking into account that many people dont have access to a garden or drive. For those for whom visiting immediate family isn't an option they should be able to widen the definition to include close friends.
  • Posted by Rolca123 May 11, 2020 at 19:17

    Please allow this soon. My sister is suffering from mental health issues and I need to help. Thanks.
  • Posted by Louise88 May 11, 2020 at 20:18

    All up for this idea in the beginning but my concern is around how does this work if you have a flatmate? If you live with someone as many people do then how do the bubbles work? A lot of flat mates don't have the same social circle.
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