Single people living alone can stay in ‘support bubbles,’ have ‘cuddle buddy’ amid COVID-19 in UK, Netherlands
Adults living on their own are allowed to join another household to form a “support bubble” as the lockdown in the United Kingdom begins to ease.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the new measure last Wednesday, June 10, as per The Guardian on the same day. However, it was only imposed yesterday, June 13.
The move hopes to alleviate loneliness among adults living on their own during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the new rule, a single-adult household can visit or stay with a multi-person home to form a “support bubble.” Those involved in a bubble do not need to observe social distancing when seeing each other in one of the houses.
“We would want to make sure that people who have been suffering from loneliness, and have been unable to see their families for a long time, the rest of their families, are able to do that,” Johnson was quoted as saying.
The measure is also exclusive, meaning that a single-adult household cannot form multiple “support bubbles” with other homes.
While the rule highlights the situation of adults in isolation, it applies as well to grandparents living on their own, as per report. This lets them form a bubble with their grandchildren’s household, whom they may not have seen due to the lockdown.
It also allows single adults, who may or may not be in a relationship, to form bubbles together as long as one of them live on their own.
The rule does not apply to anyone asked to self-quarantine until the end of the month.
“It is emphatically not designed for people who don’t qualify to start meeting inside other people’s homes, because that remains against the law,” Johnson stressed in the report.
If a member of a “support bubble” ends up showing COVID-19 symptoms, everyone in the two households would be required to observe the usual precautions against the virus such as having to self-quarantine.
Meanwhile, the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment has recommended a similar solution to loneliness brought about by the crisis last month.
The institute stated that adults not in a relationship should look for a “cuddle buddy” or “sex buddy,” as per The Washington Post on June 11. However, if one of the partners shows symptoms of COVID-19, they are advised to self isolate as well.
“Don’t have sex with your partner if they have been isolated because of [suspected] coronavirus infection,” the group said in the report. “Sex with yourself or with others at a distance is possible.” Ryan Arcadio/JB
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