BORIS Johnson is expected to expand “support bubbles” tomorrow which could mean millions more people are able to see their children and grandchildren, according to reports.
The PM is set to announce more changes to the lockdown this week – including relaxing the 2m rule, and revealling which parts of the hospitality industry will be allowed to reopen on July 4.
He’s expected to say that pubs, hotels, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to return next month, but the distance can only be cut with extra protection like masks, screens and having to sit back-to-back or side-by-side.
The PM recently announced a policy for “support bubbles” where people living alone can form a bubble with another household.
It means they are allowed to come within 2m of each other, hug, go inside each other’s homes and stay overnight.
Single people could include a grandparent living alone, or a single parent with kids under 18.
But it meant that grandparent couples were not able to bubble up and see their grandkids.
Now the PM could be about to expand those bubbles to include all households with two people in them, the Daily Telegraph reported, meaning millions more could go and hug their loved ones.
Another option under consideration is to allow people from multiple households to bubble up, but with an overall cap on numbers.
This could mean both grandparents are allowed to see grandkids, and parents wouldn’t have te heartbreaking choice of which ones to see.
Whichever option they take, the Government’s scientific advisers has warned in internal meetings that it risks taking the R rate above one.
Scientists said that extending this policy to even just households of two – would see the virus begin to spread further again.
The R rate should be 0.8 or below before thinking about introducing a bubbling strategy, it warned.
A senior government source told the paper: “There will be an expansion of social bubbles, but the details are still being finalised.”
Another source said: “The question with bubbles has always been how you help families reunite to the maximum possible extent without too much risk.
“The scientists’ main concern has always been infections spreading from one household to another, which is why this is one of the more difficult decisions we have to take.”
The PM said yesterday: “The disease is increasingly under control and I just want people to reflect on that important fact. So, of course, as we make that progress, it will be possible to open up more, and you will be hearing more about what we want to do with not just non-essential retail but with the hospitality sector from July 4.
“We’re sticking absolutely like glue to the road map to the plan that I set out on May 10.”