Meeting Close friends and family

I live away from my partner, so would be good to get the opportunity to see again, as well as close friends and family who are not in the same household

Why the contribution is important

For mental health purposes and to keep spirits up during an uncertain time

by Rgray on May 05, 2020 at 05:37PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 105 votes


  • Posted by eileencummings May 05, 2020 at 17:44

  • Posted by Lewis May 05, 2020 at 17:53

    it is important to get close families back together to alleviate stress on older and younger members
  • Posted by RosCope May 05, 2020 at 17:53

    We are so anxious about an elderly parent or 90+, with a heart condition, living alone and having some one come in just once a week to do shopping and a bit of cleaning. The battery has failed in her TV remote - she can only get ITV3 - we phone every day - but she is getting depressed and more anxious. We are 90 miles away - but would really like to be able to tell her when we can visit (even if its to stay in the garden) just to give her something to look forward to..
  • Posted by angelawanderson54 May 05, 2020 at 18:04

    I became mentally ill due to the lockdown as I had to stay away from all my family and friends and partner. I am happy to not go to pubs clubs or restaurants. I am now temporarily staying with a friend who also isolated from beginning. I would rather social distance and if I have symptoms stay in the house. I appreciate the direness if the situation but I was left verymuch alone in my own trauma. Talking didnt help. I was alive but not living. I have a preexisting mental illness which will need treatment.
  • Posted by Louisasneezer May 05, 2020 at 18:11

    I live by myself and effectively have not had any human contact for almost 8 weeks. Even my enjoyment of going on long walks with my dog has been curtailed under the restrictions as the walking spaces near me are about 75% busier since lockdown and I cannot get away with my dog to have a proper walk without having to drive a couple of miles. As a relatively young and healthy person I have managed so far with my sanity intact, but to remove both social contact and proper outdoor activity essentially leaves me entirely alone. The talk of ‘households’ is very nuclear-family centric and doesn’t recognise that many people live alone.
  • Posted by Mdunn19 May 05, 2020 at 18:13

    I think it would be possible to do this in stages. Creating small bubbles of close friends or family, maybe up to 4 people outside your own household that you could visit/spend time with. Then gradually make this bubble bigger by increasing the number. I also think at first there may have to be a maximum travel distance as well with this also becoming gradually larger.
  • Posted by Alexandra5 May 05, 2020 at 18:24

    The negative effect of social isolation is powerful. I live alone, am furloughed and see nobody. I would welcome the chance to see the same people in a small bubble, while social distancing. Also for a child to see a friend regularly whilst social distancing.
  • Posted by Mandy10 May 05, 2020 at 18:28

    I think members of the same family and very close friends should be allowed contact now. I am sure that members of this close group could be relied upon to ensure that they practise social distancing out with in order to protect their own family/friends. This would maintain all important family support and reduce the chance of mental health issues from developing due to isolation.
  • Posted by Andyrn May 05, 2020 at 18:33

    Missing my children - it’s infuriating to see full Aer Lingus flight but I can’t even drive round to see my daughter - happy if we are told extended group need to isolate as a group if one gets symptoms
  • Posted by mkll May 05, 2020 at 18:46

    I am desperate to be able to see my grandson who lives 70 miles away and am concerned that, when people are allowed to see some family members, this will be limited to people who live near to them. This is the one thing that would make a huge difference to my ability to cope with ongoing lockdown measures. I would also like consideration to be given to allowing people to change their decision as to where to base themselves which they made at the start of all this, assuming it could be short-lived. Some would like to move elderly parents in with them or younger people to move in with parents for the remainder of lockdown.
  • Posted by Colette May 05, 2020 at 18:49

    The hardest part of lockdown has not being able to visit our children. This would be our highest priority for easing restrictions
  • Posted by Hope May 05, 2020 at 18:55

    I agree. Its so important for people to connect. I'd like it to be possible even occasionally (a pass system?) be able to drive a longer distance to see people and socially distance to visit. If not stopping anywhere else, and following the rules once there.
  • Posted by annefran May 05, 2020 at 19:01

    I think this is an essential first step. Small bubbles of family and close friends should be permitted. Each household would be aware of the behaviours of the other households in relation to observing social distance and adherence to other essential guidelines. Each household would also be aware of the risk they bring to friends and family and monitor those risks in relation to whether to meet or refrain. This personal risk assessment and responsibility is needed in terms of moving forward. It is also important for all as individuals to have an element of control in this situation and would be hugely beneficial in terms of mental health. the bubbles could be gradually expanded or reduced dependent upon R
  • Posted by ProtestTheHero May 05, 2020 at 19:05

    Totally agree.
  • Posted by Norm1 May 05, 2020 at 19:08

    Some of our family members live on their own and are finding the lockdown very challenging
  • Posted by magmiller May 05, 2020 at 19:30

    Vital for mental health
  • Posted by Rhubarb May 05, 2020 at 19:56

    I agree that contact with choose friends and family should be a priority. Worth thinking carefully about the extended household / social bubble approach though - while better than what we have now, it will help some households and not others. Some households / individuals may not be close enough to anyone else to be invited in to their 'bubble'. So those with extended family or close friends locally will benefit. But others may suffer if they aren't able to meet anyone - for example many recent immigrants / asylum seekers with no support network.
  • Posted by steves01x May 05, 2020 at 20:05

    A select group of households / friends is essential - people are crumbling through isolation. All my granny at 96 (not shielded) wants to do is get driven 3 miles from home to a car park that is locked/shut off to see the trees, walk assisted 50m then back to the car for a cup of tea and a biscuit. What harm is that doing to anyone apart from her mental health and physically keeping her as active as she can be. We cannot keep hiding from the virus.
  • Posted by mg68 May 05, 2020 at 20:19

    Lockdown was a safety measure to protect the beloved but inefficient health service, now doing more harm than good.
  • Posted by PaulB1987 May 05, 2020 at 20:28

    We need to be able to see close friends and family, it’s vital to wellbeing for most. Some may cope ok within their own households exclusively but others can’t,. Trust people to do what they are doing now and follow rules in social distancing and stick to guidelines ie meet in groups of 2 outdoors first in short term then gradually increase this if no surge in virus cases
  • Posted by Jane4 May 05, 2020 at 21:56

    Strongly agree that this has severely isolated the elderly. Visits must be permitted again observing limits in numbers gathered and observing social distancing.
  • Posted by susanjgla May 05, 2020 at 22:09

    It is inhumane to keep families apart for so long
  • Posted by Ciaran May 06, 2020 at 11:52

    I am a student in high school. You don't realise how much you rely on seeing people in your daily life, especially the most important people in your life. I (and a lot of other people I know) have been struggling and just being alone with your own thoughts is horrible and being cooped up with your controlling parents are bad enough, especially when it's bad at home. Seeing close friends and family is like an escape from your own head and when you don't see people you love, it starts to really hurt. So I heavily agree with this Idea.
  • Posted by janisd2 May 06, 2020 at 18:53

    For peoples mental health and to support family with childcare I would like to see this relaxed to family members in small groups rather than a bubble in you own area, good hygiene and social distancing can still be achieved in small groups.
  • Posted by Sheshe11 May 06, 2020 at 19:51

    We have a daughter who is a nurse living in a small one bedroom flat , so apart from work doesn’t see anyone which is obviously bad for her mental health. We need to be able to see her. We also have a son who is now unemployed and living with his girlfriend and her family many miles away. He is trapped there and can’t see any of us. Another son is furloughed and living in the countryside with his wife and baby. We have seen this baby , our only grandson 4 times . We can’t live without seeing our family it is not right or fair. We are prepared for social distancing but something needs to be done.
  • Posted by steviegee1157 May 07, 2020 at 05:40

    If members of the same family feel it is safe to do so then I see no problem with them meeting up, but obviously numbers should be sensible. Mental health issues will begin to spiral out of control the longer families are kept apart.
  • Posted by StuartK5871 May 07, 2020 at 18:58

    If you allow 1-2 people (your partner perhaps) to be allowed as part of a shared household (even in two different locations) this would help with the strain and stress of the lockdown, particularly if people have anxiety or need support in ways that aren’t defined by the government
  • Posted by jeh May 08, 2020 at 10:30

    Lifting this restriction would have the most positive impact on my and my family’s quality of life. My parents are in their 70s (fit and healthy) and my children 5 and 1.... they are missing seeing their grandchildren growing up and developing their relationship with them. Skype not great as the kids are so young.
  • Posted by Moj14 May 10, 2020 at 12:28

    Please let us see our families again. We can be treated like adults to do so safety and responsibility for them and us. Social distancing has already become a new norm, Families are a key support network and we need each other. I don’t mean mass family gatherings I mean sensible met ups.
  • Posted by amanda67 May 10, 2020 at 12:31

    I think it would be a good idea to let folk meet a small number of family or friends, maybe socially distancing in a garden or going for a walk in the park together. Minimal risk, great benefit for mental health and well being. I remember initially, we were told that the idea was to create a series of curves rather than a peak of corona virus cases, but this seems to have been forgotten. Of course the numbers of cases will increase slightly with easing of restrictions, but we have to start somewhere. Gradually and safely. Letting folk meet up with a few family members or friends seems a good way ahead to me.
  • Posted by Izzywizz May 10, 2020 at 17:38

    Once judged safe to do so, this would be top of my list for things to allow people to do.
  • Posted by Annabel May 11, 2020 at 13:51

    We have been separated from our family geographically throughout this period and would appreciate if there could be an early relaxation on close family contact. Due to living in different parts of Scotland it would be helpful if we could be allowed to travel longer distances to meet.
  • Posted by Bethany18 May 11, 2020 at 16:59

    Mental health is at risk as well as physical health - the isolation is very damaging to our society as people struggle with loneliness. Of course some of these measures were a necessity, however I think now the risks are lower and being able to see close friends and family is important.
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