DESPITE Covid cases continuing to rocket upwards in England, the vaccines minister says Brits are still flouting the rules.
With contagious strains of Covid spreading across the country, a clampdown on exercising and support bubbles could be on the cards.
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Will support bubbles be banned?
Under the latest guidance, some Brits are allowed to form household support bubbles, meaning they can legally socialise outside their own home.
Sources confirmed that even the Prime Minister had formed a support bubble with his his mum-in-law.
However, with a sharp spike in cases across the nation, over 80,000 deaths, and the threat of two more contagious strains of the virus, it possible that bubbles could be limited.
Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told BBC Radio 4 this morning that the government is "reviewing all the restrictions".
The minister specifically addressed the flouting of rules by people claiming to exercise outdoors, he said: "
"I am worried about some of the pictures I’ve seen about social interactions in parks.
"If you have to exercise you can go out for exercise only. We want to make sure people stay at home. That’s the message."
He was also asked if support bubbles could be banned, but when pressed on it, Mr Zahawi could not rule out scrapping them.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock's press conference tonight will confirm if there will be anymore changes to the rules.
What is a support bubble?
A support bubble is a support network which links two households.
It's used mostly to prevent Brits from getting lonely during the pandemic.
This comes as experts warn lockdown has created a "ticking time bomb" in the nation's mental health.
But you have to meet certain eligibility to form a support bubble.
You can form a bubble with another household of any size if you live by yourself – even if carers already visit you.
Any lone parent with kids under 18 is classed as single and is eligible to be in a support bubble.
A single adult living on their own, even if they have carers, can also form a support bubble with another household.
Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in one ‘household’.
It means you are allowed close contact with the other household in your bubble – it's as if they are members are from your own home.
You are allowed to leave your home to visit your support bubble, to
stay overnight with them, and go outdoors with them the government says.
Support bubbles are estimated to benefit about 8.2million people across the country.
What counts as a support bubble?
As of 2 December 2020, the government widened the eligibility criteria for who can form a support bubble.
You can form a support bubble with another household of any size if:
- you live by yourself – even if carers visit you to provide support
- you are the only adult in your household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability
- your household includes a child who is under the age of one or was under that age on 2 December 2020
- your household includes a child with a disability who requires continuous care and is under the age of 5, or was under that age on 2 December 2020
- you are aged 16 or 17 living with others of the same age and without any adults
- you are a single adult living with one or more children who are under the age of 18 or were under that age on 12 June 2020
You should not form a support bubble with a household that is part of another support bubble.
It should only be a maximum of two households forming a support bubble.
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