Social “bubbles”

To pick two households per household that you can visit in the garden at distance to begin with. I would love to be able to see my partner for longer than two minutes at the door step at a social distance. As I would love to see other family at a distance and have a conversation and not be worried that nosy Susan the neighbour is bad mouthing and reporting me for the 2 minute conversation at a distance.

Why the contribution is important

Giving people this choice will boost mental health and may reduce the fact people who are already rebellion to continue doing so. It will be easy to track and trace because if you aren’t able to track and trace your obviously going to visit too many people!

by Feefifo on May 05, 2020 at 10:10PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 93 votes


  • Posted by Helent May 05, 2020 at 22:23

    Family connections are my biggest loss and time is precious with elderly in-laws
  • Posted by Linsaywares May 05, 2020 at 22:27

    This could be so important for those living alone.
  • Posted by Jeannie May 05, 2020 at 22:28

    Would make everyone feel so much better being able to mix even outside and socially distancing from their closest family group
  • Posted by Jay2 May 05, 2020 at 22:30

    Being separated from family is causing extreme anxiety. Like others living alone the impact of isolation is stressful and getting increasingly difficult. We need some social interaction beyond using technology.
  • Posted by Spurheart May 05, 2020 at 22:36

    Contact with family is what most people miss most. I would favour the social bubble idea to allow us to see a small number of close family and friends.
    Could the government also clarify if this social group all need to be geographically nearby? Many people long to see elderly parents or have partners who live some way away.
  • Posted by Elaine44 May 05, 2020 at 22:36

    Can cope with longer lockdown if i can see my daughter who lives in a different household even just to sit in the garden at first, this is what causes me the most emotional distress and zoom/whatsapp etc are just not the same as seeing her in person
  • Posted by GordonMichie May 05, 2020 at 22:37

    The opportunity to see our granddaughter again is our biggest wish.
  • Posted by Janeyjay71 May 05, 2020 at 22:37

    I’m struggling the most with not being able to see grandchildren
  • Posted by Evelyn May 05, 2020 at 22:39

    Social bubbles are superficially attractive but do not reflect the realities or complexities of real lives. Becoming part of a bubble requires choices which may simply add social pressure rather than relieving it. The portrayal has often been about it being a way to allow grandparents to see grandchildren. But the reality is that any decision to include is by default a decision to exclude. I'm not sure that given the pressures and stresses of the Covid world we can afford to add (even accidentally) another level of stress and potentially division.
    When the moment is right perhaps close family should be permitted contact by default while other social groups should be allowed to meet up out of doors in small numbers - say four, with social distancing required.
  • Posted by Feemcfa May 05, 2020 at 22:40

     Not being able to see family has been the hardest part. My children are missing their ( non shielding ) grandparents more and more as time goes on.
    I suggest allowing people to see at least one other household in person indoors with the advice to maintain social distancing indoors.
    This is important to allow privacy in family meetings and to reward people for maintaining social distancing over the last week.
    I think this should include households which may be some distance away E.g. Less than two hours drive which is a distance that people can drive without needing to stop.
    I think this is very important for people's mental health and for family relationships.
  • Posted by Jones17 May 05, 2020 at 22:40

    It might be a good idea to have a register for people to register who they are going to add to their social bubble. This could help prevent it being abused. In other countries people have to carry id and fill in a form when they are out and about, maybe a variation on this could work.
  • Posted by Runaire May 05, 2020 at 22:45

    Being able to visit family in a restricted radius or region is my best option. Visiting in gardens or outdoor spaces might be challenging in thenWest but I understand rational. Being able to help my priority 1 key worker children with childcare without negative social media comments would be a great help and contacts traceable.
  • Posted by Sparks May 05, 2020 at 22:46

    I understand why this is important to some but if it was a choice between this and say children returning to schools then schools must take priority. It is heart breaking seeing their future being slowly eroded from them
  • Posted by Jambogirl May 05, 2020 at 22:54

    This is important for those shielding who may be in lockdown for some time. As long as it is handled responsibly by the relevant households.
  • Posted by Feemcfa May 05, 2020 at 22:56

    I disagree that schooling is more important than family .
    Children will make good progress once back at school - the harm to emotional wellbeing from not being able to interact with close (non household family ) is worse than missed education
  • Posted by Grannygoose May 05, 2020 at 22:57

    I have welcomed 2 new grandchildren to our family in 2020. The first we were able to meet and had contact for the first 6 weeks. The second has been born since the restrictions were introduced and he has yet to be introduced to his close family.
    An extension of criteria to allow families to reconnect would help the health and wellbeing of these new family units.
  • Posted by Feemcfa May 05, 2020 at 22:59

    Please do not overly restrict the distance of contacts if social Bubble allowed.
    Families that are further apart in someways have suffered more as they have not been able to see each other while out on nearby walks at end of garden or through windows etc where close families who Iive nearby have been able to
  • Posted by ElsieSmith May 05, 2020 at 23:04

    Initially this seems like a good idea, however it could become quite complicated. I live in a family of five. 2 of my sons have girlfriends so they would want to include them in the bubble...would that then mean we need to count their families in our bubble. If so that is very limiting depending on how big the bubble will be. Again as someone mentioned earlier, there is the issue of offending where due to limited numbers choices need to be made about who is in and who is out the bubble. Perhaps each person in the household has to choose their own bubble but that would mean greater numbers of contacts across a household.
  • Posted by Dory25 May 05, 2020 at 23:05

    I agree with the social bubble idea. My daughter lives in NZ and they have just been able to add to the bubble they chose on lockdown. As usual something like this only works if everyone acts in a responsible manner to safeguard the greater good. It's certainly one way of widening social contact.
  • Posted by Cherrylynn May 05, 2020 at 23:09

    Most people are really missing their family members. It is also very hard for people living on their own to have no contact. I think we should be allowed “bubbles” with restrictions on number of people, number of interactions and maybe outside to begin with ie in garden or going for a walk?
  • Posted by adavidson39 May 05, 2020 at 23:10

    I think allowing people to see close family/friends a select few will help with compliance issues.
  • Posted by Mags00 May 05, 2020 at 23:23

    I am interested in this idea and as I live alone really need to see people quite soon. However I don't know how it would work. I have two brothers and a mother all in separate households. Who would she choose? In addition I think police resource is already stretched and there is no way to control or manage this. I think it would be the thin end of the wedge and once people started seeing one group it would quickly expand.
  • Posted by Cathy_Baldwin May 06, 2020 at 00:41

    Yes it's important to see 'other households' and 'family' but when 51% of people in teh UK live alone in single person households and some do not have family, but friends instead, this must be taken into consideration. Release the people staying alone, this is killing them.
  • Posted by tich May 06, 2020 at 00:46

    Family ,is the most important miss ,having a new grandchild change in front of your eyes ,and not being there to support my daughter has been very hard .
  • Posted by Djalaodbdld May 06, 2020 at 02:45

    I have to agree. Allowing people to add one or two other households to their bubble would really help everyone. Even if to start with this has to be as outside gatherings. Many countries have plans for this including Ireland and Guernsey has already allowed people to increase their bubble to include another household. Especially where one of the households only includes one person the increased risk would be minimal.
  • Posted by NClarke May 06, 2020 at 08:15

    We are a family of 4 - social bubble - how will it work! I want to see my parents- my husband wants to see his parents - my 18 year old daughter wants to see her boyfriend and my 20 year old son wants to see his best friend! Who gets to choose if you can only socialise with one household!!!! Some people aren’t following social distancing anyway so this needs to be simple not complicated when changes are made
  • Posted by Rainbowbright May 06, 2020 at 08:23

    Grandparents and grandchildren should be allowed to meet if not in high risk groups
  • Posted by Caroline2121 May 06, 2020 at 08:34

    I agree compliance is reducing from what I am observing some small relaxation of restrictions would help ful
  • Posted by rd23 May 06, 2020 at 08:52

    We need to allow families to see each other. This would help in reducing anxiety and help ease frustration that people are feeling. The idea of interacting with family but with a provision of wearing a mask (non medical of course) should be considered. I think if a small number is put on social bubbles it will make it difficult for people to select who they see and potentially lead to people breaking restrictions. We have a 3 month old.. how would we decide what side of the family get to see him? It should be trialled for a time and if the R number increases then reduce but at least it would ease some frustration.
  • Posted by HighlandLassie May 06, 2020 at 12:08

    I agree but it doesn't help when your family are living in the islands? Please can we TTT to allow islanders living on the mainland to be allowed to get home to see elderly family
  • Posted by Alex1948 May 06, 2020 at 12:22

    Agree that some form of social buble should be allowed. The extent and rules should be combined with the proposed phone App for tracing etc.
  • Posted by Slr75 May 06, 2020 at 18:51

    I don't have little kids or grandchildren my kids are adults my son lives with me Amy daughter at her dad's I long to hug her, we have stuck to social distancing I did drop a hamper of her favourite goody's off at the doorstep and was difficult not to hug her as she was crying but we both knew why we couldnt
  • Posted by YvonneGunn May 06, 2020 at 20:31

    This would be really helpful and supportive for those if us who live alone and would like to see friends in the same boat. I am so fed up ‘talking to the furniture ‘
  • Posted by AudFish May 06, 2020 at 21:52

    Visiting lone 'older' parents is imperative for their mental health
  • Posted by Free May 06, 2020 at 22:58

    Need to do something sensible to support mental well being and treat us like adults to make sensible choices. Social bubble ideas could help move us towards a society that is mentally more resilient and also saves lives. I wish the government would also report the numbers on abuse / domestic violence and suicide with comparison from this time last year. Let's put covid-19 death's into perspective with all the negative consequences of lockdown.
  • Posted by fernae10 May 06, 2020 at 23:00

    It’s a good idea in principle- but if I’m honest until I’ve been tested and know I’ve had it or a there’s a vaccine in place. I would still be very scared to socialise even in the bubble.
  • Posted by fja1980 May 06, 2020 at 23:13

    I think the idea of social bubbles is a good one. Ireland's strategy builds this in with weeks between each stage to fully assess the impact. The longer this goes on the more people will do this anyway. My family and I have been following all restrictions even if I feel we are at minimal risk overall but I know many who are ignoring the rules.
  • Posted by cj2000bb May 07, 2020 at 01:50

    Problem with bubbles is overlapping bubbles ends up with 2 bubbles becomes 20 very quickly. If this is done then use of tracing app by people doing this should be mandatory.

  • Posted by christine72 May 07, 2020 at 07:24

    I support the principle of seeing another small group of family or friends but the bubble idea seems too open to abuse. I prefer more specific ideas like ‘grandparents/family members from other households can now support childcare’. For those without children, I’m not sure - perhaps link to one other household but not as ‘bubble’?
  • Posted by MPBinEd May 07, 2020 at 11:06

    Yes, yes, yes!! Families with young kids need this morale boost please!!
  • Posted by IrvingBulloch May 07, 2020 at 11:42

    Like so many comments on this subject, I think limited outdoor socialising with family members not in your household , still considering if any one has symptoms of virus .
  • Posted by robgallagher83 May 07, 2020 at 14:19

    Living alone this is really important to me. I would love to be able to see my parents, and to be able to have my partner stay over a few days at a time as long as we don't have symptoms.
  • Posted by Bogmyrtle May 08, 2020 at 10:08

    I live in a small remote community, which with one long single track in and out, is effectively an island. I feel within the community which has now been more or less isolated as a whole for 6 weeks, we could allow social interaction between people especially those who have had no contact with the outside world. There are several elderly people who live on their own and they would really value seeing each other in real life. There isn’t any public transport so that’s not an issue and few shared facilities.

    We have fewer than 20 children so I also think they should be allowed to play together - especially on the beach and outside. We are lucky we have hundreds of square miles, and a population of 300!
  • Posted by JackieH May 08, 2020 at 16:39

    Close family should be allowed to meet, we should not have to choose it should be close family and or friends only
  • Posted by NAK May 09, 2020 at 12:14

    Good idea, but might it be necessary to ensure one only exclusively engages with any other group? i.e. limit the number of interactions by making sure they are 'bubbles' and not 'chains'?

    If family A wants to be in a bubble with Mrs B then that would be fine, provided Mrs B is not also in a bubble with Family C as this would give a transmission path between A and C AND ALSO C's OTHER CONTACTS.

    It is important that chains are not accidentally created, or if this is deemed of sufficiently low risk then the number of links of any chain should be restricted.

  • Posted by lalaw May 09, 2020 at 13:04

    Re the creation of mutually exclusive social groups: at the moment there’s a sense of “we’re all in this together” and consequently most people are willing to display goodwill to others and adhere to a common set of isolation rules, forming social support mechanisms within these rules. Once you create mutually exclusive priveleged groups, many will find themselves excluded from improvements which others are allowed to enjoy; their goodwill will be lost and their sense of loneliness and isolation will seem all the greater.
  • Posted by coolcat May 11, 2020 at 14:08

    I don't see the value of allowing a social "bubble" if it's only to meet outside. eg I live within a short distance of my 2 children and under current restrictions meeting up outside would not be difficult as we all use the same local park to walk to for exercise. As it happens we have never met up in this way but how can this be seen as a relaxing of rules? I would prefer that my children could come and visit me at my home....scrubbed, disinfected etc.....meantime I'll continue to observe whatever lockdown rules are in place .
  • Posted by Basemaker1971 May 11, 2020 at 18:58

    If common sense is used this has got to help with mental health
  • Posted by Brett May 11, 2020 at 20:11

    Social bubbles that maintain distancing with improved hygiene will inevitably form a part of our recovery. However it should be clear that allowing a household to have two additional households, increases contact by a larger number than on face value.

    For example my household has four people, we could partner with a household of two and another of four. But then our first household partners with us and another household of four. And so on. The growth can quickly increase exponentially if a bubble isn't confined to the same people for each of the bubble. Difficult to do with the the diverse nature of households.

    When people return to work. The bubble is then in turn in contact with potentially a workforce, their families, customers and commuters.

    Bubbles are a lovely idea but should not be seen as low risk.

    I do agree however that before I am instructed to return to work and manage a workforce that is customer facing. That contact with family or friends should be allowable previously.

    Guidelines on meeting socially are as essential as guidelines on how to work safely. To feel safe at home, work and play is a basic human need. This virus is new and an emphasis on personal protections that we can take to enable a new normal is a priority.

  • Posted by IMcK May 11, 2020 at 20:50

    We will need something like this soon. Contact with others is a critical part of a happy life.
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