Support bubbles: how they work, and who can be in yours

With the recent announcement from the Government that England will be in a national lockdown from 5th November, we wanted to help our patients understand the guidance on ‘support bubbles’ – something which could help many families. 

When the country went into the first national lockdown back in March, many people struggled with having no contact with close family or friends for a prolonged period of time. The Government has since introduced the concept of ‘support bubbles’, to allow friends and family to safely expand the group of people they have close contact with while the coronavirus pandemic continues. 

What is a support bubble?

A support bubble is where a household with only one adult joins with another household of any size. Households within that support bubble can visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together – even in lockdown. But once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble.

Once you’re in a support bubble, you’re classed as one household with the people in your bubble and you do not have to socially distance from them. 

Who can make a support bubble?

  • If you’re a single-adult household, you can form a support bubble with another household of any size. 
  • If you live with other adults (including carers, or being a carer), you can form a support bubble with a single-adult household. 
  • If you have a child with someone you do not live with, you can form a support bubble with another household that includes your child’s other parent – but one of the households must be a single-adult household.
  • Two single people living alone could create a support bubble. 

Who can be in my support bubble? 

It depends if you’re currently living alone or if you are part of a household as to who can be in your support bubble. Technically, anyone in the correct circumstances can join a support bubble with you, provided they are not part of a support bubble with anyone else.

Support bubbles can include ‘extremely vulnerable’ patients who were previously shielding. It’s recommended that you make a support bubble with a household that lives locally to you, to help prevent the virus spreading. Remember that you can’t change your support bubble once you have formed it.

Are you familiar with the rules for this lockdown?

We’ve provided a table below with a summary of the latest lockdown rules for you.

*The latest advice for ‘extremely vulnerable’ patients who previously had to shield in the lockdown back in March is not to go to any shops or pharmacies. If you know someone who needs help getting their medication delivered, share our service with them today.

Please continue to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and protect the NHS by following the latest guidance, which can always be found here.


Phil Day By Phil Day Superintendent Pharmacist Published 04/11/2020