By Rachael Grealish
The Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced from Saturday June 13, single adult households will be allowed to form ‘support bubbles’.
The new guidelines, announced today (Wednesday June 10) in the daily Coronavirus briefing, are to tackle issues of social isolation that have arisen during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Members of a ‘bubble’ can stay overnight at each other’s home, and there is no need to stick to the two-metre social distancing rule.
The PM said: “There are still too many people, particularly those who live by themselves, who are lonely and struggling.”
These new guidelines will also help single parents receive childcare from others, but people who are shielding – who fit into the ‘critically extremely vulnerable’ criteria – their guidelines remain unchanged.
Johnson continued to say these new measures are not designed for those who do not apply and other people should still adhere to the standard social distancing guidelines.
It was stated during the briefing that from Monday people who use public transport are encouraged to do so wearing a face mask or risk a fine.
This is also the case for hospital visitors or outpatients.
Johnson faced questions off the press about his timing of putting the country into lockdown after Imperial College academic and SAGE scientist Professor Neil Ferguson said the COVID death toll would have been halved if the country had gone into lockdown a week earlier.
While giving evidence Prof Ferguson said: “The epidemic was doubling every three to four days before lockdown interventions were introduced.
“So had we introduced lockdown measures a week earlier, we would have reduced the final death toll by at least a half.
“Whilst I think the measures, given what we knew about this virus then, in terms of its transmission and its lethality, were warranted, I’m second guessing at this point, certainly had we introduced them earlier we would have seen many fewer deaths.”
When asked about this the PM did not challenge they delay in lockdown doubled the death toll, but said now is too premature a time to judge.