The rules on forming a support bubble will change in December - find out if you’re affected

Tighter tiered restrictions are set to come into place in England when the second country-wide lockdown ends on 2 December.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday 23 November that the country would return to its previous system of tiered levels of restrictions, which will differ slightly this time around.

The rules regarding who can form a support bubble are also expanding, allowing people in certain situations to meet others - depending on circumstances.

What changes are coming into place?

A support bubble is formed when two households can join together exclusively and act as though they are one household.

“Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household,” explains Gov.uk.

Currently, you can only form a support bubble if one of the two households is a ‘single-adult’ household.

However, the list of who can form a support bubble is being expanded in December, and will allow parents with babies under the age of one, as well as those who live with a child under five with a disability that needs continuous care, to form a support bubble with another household.

From 2 December, you can form a support bubble with another household if any of the following apply to you:

You are the only adult in your household (any other members of the household having been under 18 on 12 June 2020) or are the only adult who does not have a disability that needs continuous careYou have a child under oneYou live with a child under five with a disability that needs continuous care

What else will come into place when lockdown ends?

There will be different rules in place throughout England when lockdown finishes, depending on which tier an area falls under.

Exceptions to the rules apply for support bubbles.

The new tier rules in full

Tier 1 - Medium

Follow the rule of six if meeting indoors or outdoorsPubs and restaurants to shut at 11pmMinimising travel is encouraged and work from home where possibleLimited numbers of people allowed at sporting events and live performances

Tier 2 - High

No household mixing indoorsRule of 6 outdoorsPubs and restaurants to shut at 11pm - alcohol only served as part of substantial mealLimited numbers of people allowed at sporting events and live performances

Tier 3 - Very high

No household mixing indoorsNo household mixing outdoors in private gardens or hospitality venuesRule of 6 in outdoor public spaces, such as parksPubs and restaurants will be closed - except for takeaway/deliveryIndoor entertainment venues will be closedGuidance against travelling in and out of the area