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Coronavirus - check if you can make a bubble with another household

This advice applies to England

In some situations, you can join with 1 other household and treat them as if you lived with them. You can see them in their home and stay overnight. This is called making either a 'support bubble' or a 'childcare bubble'.

If you're eligible, you can be in both a support bubble and a childcare bubble.

Making a support bubble

You can only make a support bubble with another household in certain situations. To make a support bubble, either your household or their household must have:

  • only 1 adult - not including children under 18
  • only people who need continuous care because of a disability
  • only 1 adult who doesn't need continuous care because of a disability
  • a child who was under 1 year old on 2 December 2020
  • a child who's disabled, needs continuous care and was under 5 on 2 December 2020
  • only people aged 16 or 17 living there

If none of these things are true, you can't make a support bubble. If you can't make a support bubble, you can check when you're allowed to go out or meet people.

Example

Justin is a single parent with children under 18. He wants to meet his sister and her family in their home and take his children with him. Justin and his sister's family can make a support bubble to do this, because Justin is the only adult aged over 18 in his home.

You and anyone you live with can only make a support bubble with 1 other household. All the adults in both households must agree to making the support bubble.

Example

Leanne and Carolyn live together. Leanne wants to make a support bubble with her father. If they make this support bubble, Leanne and Carolyn can both visit Leanne's father, either together or separately. They can't make a separate support bubble with anyone else. Leanne and Carolyn will need to agree to make the same support bubble.

Making a childcare bubble

You can make a childcare bubble to give or get help with childcare if either:

  • you live with a child under 14
  • a child under 14 lives in the household you want to join with

If you make a childcare bubble, you're not allowed to meet with each other for other reasons. For example, you can't make a childcare bubble to socialise with another household.

All the adults in both households must agree to making the childcare bubble.

Check what you're allowed to do in a bubble

You're allowed to meet people in your bubble in their home - you can also stay overnight.

Example

Valerie lives alone. She is in a support bubble with her adult son, Ivor, and his family. They can visit each other's homes, stay for meals and stay overnight. If Valerie goes out to exercise or shop for essentials, Ivor and his family are allowed to go with her.

You can travel outside your local area to see people in your bubble.

Example

Jayma lives alone in Bath. She is in a support bubble with her partner Nick, who lives in Manchester. Jayma is allowed to travel to visit Nick and stay overnight in his home.

If you're in a childcare bubble and a support bubble, you can only meet with people from 1 bubble at a time.

If you want to change who you're in a bubble with

You should have a break for 10 days where you don't meet up with your old bubble. After 10 days, you can start meeting up with your new bubble.

If you have children and you're separated from their other parent

If your children are under 18 and they spend time with you and the other parent, they can move freely between both households. They can be in any bubble you or their other parent make, even if it means being in more than 1 bubble.

Example

Shanelle shares custody of her children with her ex-partner Matt. The children spend some of their time with Shanelle and some of their time with Matt. Shanelle is in a support bubble with her parents. Matt is in a support bubble with his partner. Their children are allowed to be part of both support bubbles.

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