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Teaming up with a Household

With effect from 20 March 2021, a vulnerable person, person living on their own, or lone parent families, will be able to team up with another household in order to allow them access a support bubble to offer to practical and emotional support. 

This policy applies  only to: 

  • A person living on their own, or  
  • A lone parent and their children (provided the children are under 18) 

If this applies to your circumstances, you will be be able to receive visitors from one other household into your household, and conversely you will be able to visit the other household.

  • Any arrangement should be a reciprocal arrangement such that only two households at any time are teamed together. If there are other household members involved, they cannot select an additional third household.
  • This can also extend to travelling with them to / from the households and for exercising together, as with the rest of the household.  
  • The public are asked to recognise any interaction carries a risk and other than for vulnerable persons, lone parent families and those living on their own, there is no change to the prohibition on household mixing.
  • Anyone feeling unwell and displaying any Covid symptoms should stay at home and call 111, and any household who has anyone isolating in it, cannot participate in any team arrangement until the isolation period has passed.

On this page:

Health protection and reducing the spread of infection 

Meeting up outside and exercising 

Car sharing 

Overnight stays, meals and drinks 

Living alone 

Single parents 

Households mixing 

HMOs and shared facility accommodation 

Health protection and reducing the spread of infection 

Do I have to wear PPE when I form a support bubble?

It would be personal choice. Every interaction with someone else carries a risk to both parties. Therefore we would recommend that risk mitigations are in place (face coverings, social distancing) where this is comfortable to do so, but we are not mandating this – it is personal choice and as always individuals should understand any visit inside someone else's house carries risk to them and the person they are visiting. 

If anyone within either household is subsequently required to isolate, it is likely that all members of both households will be treated as close contacts and will need to isolate accordingly if they have been visiting each other within the relevant period. 

Can I team up with someone if I am isolating?

No. If any household has anyone isolating in it, the household cannot participate in any team arrangement until the isolation period has passed. Anyone feeling unwell and displaying Covid symptoms should stay at home and call 111.

Meeting up outside and exercising  

Does this mean we can exercise together?

Yes, you can exercise on your own, with your household or with your team.  As always we would encourage this to be kept to the minimum interaction needed to provide the lone parent or adult living alone with practical or emotional support.    

This arrangement is only available to those eligible and the majority of people will not be eligible to team up.  

Car sharing 

Can you car share with your support team household?

Yes – if as part of the provision of practical or emotional support, one of the households needs transport, then car sharing is allowable for those eligible.  

This arrangement is only available to those eligible and the majority of people will not be eligible to team up. There is no change to the current prohibition on household mixing, which prohibits anyone from car sharing with anyone outside their household or support bubble.

Overnight stays, meals and drinks 

Can I stay overnight?

You are able to stay overnight with your support bubble if it will provide emotional or practical support. You should bear in mind than any prolonged contact brings increased risk, and therefore overnight stays may carry greater risk than a short interaction. 

Can I share a meal or have a cup of tea with my support team? How long can you stay for? ?

Yes, you can have a meal or enjoy a cup of tea with your support bubble, but you should follow good hygiene and sanitisation guidance:  

  • When you do visit each other, you should all wash or sanitise your hands regularly and practice respiratory etiquette (coughing into your elbow or a tissue).   
  • There is no time limit on visits and you may stay over if this provides emotional or practical support. 
  • You can eat together.  Crockery etc should be washed thoroughly after use (preferably in a dish washer) and hands should be washed/sanitised after handling crockery used by someone outside your own household. 

Living alone 

I live alone, can my daughter now visit me and vice versa in our households?

Can I go to my boyfriend's house if he lives alone, then he come to mine?

Yes. Provided that in all these scenarios one party is either a lone parent or an adult living alone, then they can team their household with one other household for the provision of practical and emotional support.  

This means that the lone parent family, or the adult living alone can visit the other household, and members from the other household can visit them. 

It can only be only two households involved though, and therefore any other members of the other household will not be able to team up with any other households. 

Can the members of a household alternate between teams?

The household teaming works two way such that the person living alone (or the lone parent family) can visit the other household, or have household members from it visit them.  

Only two households can be part of any teaming up for this current circuit breaker and there is no provision to change or alternate teams once they have been set.

Single parents 

I am a lone parent - can I now have my mother visit me - and can I visit her and her family in her household?

Yes. Provided that in all these scenarios one party is either a lone parent or an adult living alone, then they can team their household with one other household for the provision of practical and emotional support.  

This means that the lone parent family, or the adult living alone can visit the other household, and members from the other household can visit them. 

It can only be only two households involved though, and therefore any other members of the other household will not be able to team up with any other households. 

I have shared parental custody as single parent. Does my ex-partner count as my bubble even though I don’t have any contact with him, or can I get support from another household? 

What if I don’t have a good relationship with my ex-partner, although they may help with childcare, but not emotional support for me?  Can I form a bubble with someone else?  

If you are not receiving support from your child’s other parent, you are able to form an emotional/ practical support bubble or ‘team’ separate to any childcare support that you are in for the purposes of childcare.  

Please bear in mind that every household with which you have contact increases the risk of transmission for you and your family.

Households mixing 

I don't live alone, can I still team up?

There is no change to the current prohibition on general household mixing. Only people living on their own and lone parent families are able to form an emotional or practical support bubble. Your household could team up as part of a single person or lone parent family’s support bubble, if they are asked.  

Please remember that any interaction carries a risk, and this new policy has been introduced to assist with mental and practical levels of support for those who do not currently have it.  

Can I change who I am teamed up with?

If you are eligible, you are able to choose onlyone other household to 'team up' with, and this should be a reciprocal agreement. You cannot add a third household into your 'team' and your chosen team should not change. 

Can someone have a temporary support bubble whilst the other person is away from the house (eg. for hospital treatment/compassionate travel)?

You cannot change your bubble during the current circuit break lockdown.

Single parent support bubbles - can house A (where parent lives with child) form a support bubble with grandparents (house B)? Then can house C (where other parent lives with the same child) have a support bubble with the other grandparents (house D)? 

This is possible as childcare was already covered before the "bubble" option came into force.

Homes of multiple occupancy (HMO’s), sheltered accommodation, apartments and flats

I live in a building with a shared communal area – can I team up with another household?

COVID-19 spreads from person to person so the best way to reduce transmission is to reduce mixing as far as possible. 

If you are a single person living alone in a HMO, you may team up with another household for emotional support.

It is important to avoid mixing between your ‘team up’ household members and the other people living in your HMO.  You should also avoid mixing with others in the HMO as far as possible. 

The simplest way to do this is for you to visit the ‘team up’ household rather than for members of your ‘team up’ household to visit the HMO.  If they do visit the HMO, they need to be particularly careful to avoid contact with others in the communal parts of the house. 

Visitors should wash/sanitise their hands before entering.  Face coverings should be worn in communal areas and they should maintain 2m social distance from others.  They should not enter shared areas such as kitchens or lounges and avoid use of bathrooms as far as possible.

Similar advice about behaviour in communal areas also applies to apartment complexes etc.