'Support bubbles' mean adults living alone can join another household from Saturday

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Boris Johnson has announced that people who live alone, and single parents with children, will be able to team up in a "bubble" with one other family.

For 11 weeks, an estimated 8 million children have been out of school as principals' and teachers' unions grapple with the two metre social distancing rules and small class sizes.

He added: "We are making this change to support those who are particularly lonely as a result of lockdown measures".

Elderly people living alone could form a bubble with the household of an adult son or daughter enabling them to visit and even hug their grandchildren for the first time since lockdown.

But the move would not allow a couple to visit both parents as neither household would comprise a single adult.

The changes will benefit those who live alone and single parents with children under 18. It is a targeted intervention to limit the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions.

If one half of a couple shares a flat or house with one or more other people, they can see their partner as long they live alone - if their partner also shares a home they cannot see each other.

"So whilst I think the measures, given what we knew about this virus then in terms of its transmission and fatality, were warranted, certainly had we introduced them earlier we would have seen many fewer deaths".

But the revised restrictions are just for those who live solo.

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And Mr Johnson resisted growing demands from pubs for an end to the two-metre rule ahead of their hoped-for reopening on July 4.

Currently, and until Saturday, it is against the law to have indoor sex with anybody other than a partner that you live with.

At this stage only if their son or daughter is the only adult in the other household in the bubble.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson is facing increased pressure to axe the 2 metre social distancing rule to help re-open the on-trade and save jobs.

All members of both households in the bubble must self-isolate for 14 days.

Again no, although officials are suggesting people should try to "stay local" where possible. A single parent could, for example, form a bubble with their own parents so that their children would be able to spend time with their grandparents and be cared for by them as if they were a member of their own household.

"As we drive this disease down, as we get the incidence down, working together, I want to make sure we keep that two-metre rule under constant review".

Professor Robert Dingwall, a sociologist on one of the scientific groups advising the Government, said studies into the two-metre rule's impact did not take account of the "economic devastation" it caused.

The need to continue on the path out of lockdown was underlined by warnings the United Kingdom is on course to suffer the biggest economic hit of any developed country from the coronavirus.

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