Lockdown for most of England was eased on Saturday July 4th with the exception of Leicester which has to stick with the previous restriction levels for a further two weeks. This is due to a rise of cases in the city. Under the new guidance pubs, salons/barbers and cinema’s can now reopen so long as they follow strict social distancing guidelines. Gyms, leisure centres and theatres are still closed though. This does not make much sense to me as you do not need to be a genius to know that a drunk person will be less likely to observe social distancing rules then a sober person exercising in a gym. It is true that people will need to book a table at a pub in advanced and that pubs will need to keep a record of every person who has been in the pub for three weeks to help track and trace any outbreaks, however gyms and leisure centres are not just good for physical health but mental health as well. The two-meter rule has also been changed to one meter plus. Two households can also meet indoors as part of a, “Social Bubble” to help people living alone avoid loneliness. The definition of a support bubble according to the BBC can be found below:
What is a support bubble?
- A bubble is defined as a group of people with whom you have close physical contact. The idea was first introduced in New Zealand.
- In England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, single adults living alone – or single parents whose children are under 18 – can now form a support bubble with one other household.
- The second household can be of any size.
- Currently, nobody who is shielding should join a bubble, but this restriction will be lifted from 6 July in England.
- The independent advisory group Sage has been asked to examine if, when and how people might safely be allowed to expand their bubbles.
- Announcing the latest easing of rules in Wales on 19 June. First Minister Mark Drakeford said he expected to make a decision about whether to introduce social bubbles in the next few weeks.
What are the support bubble rules?
- Support bubbles must be “exclusive”. Once in one, you can’t switch and start another with a different household.
- People in each bubble can visit each other’s homes and go inside.
- They won’t have to do social distancing and can even stay overnight.
- Anyone in the bubble contacted as part of England’s test and trace programme must stay at home. If they develop coronavirus symptoms, everyone in the bubble must self-isolate.