Lockdown rules could be relaxed so you can socialise with ‘bubble’ of 10 closest friends and family


LOCKDOWN rules could be eased to allow people to socialise with ten of their closest family and friends.

Ministers are reportedly looking at easing strict “stay at home” rules in favour of creating groups of people known as “clusters” or “bubbles”.

People enjoy warm weather at London Fields on April 24, during the national lockdown

The clusters will be small groups of households with no more than ten people who can socialise somewhat freely, reports the Daily Mail.

And then those people inside the group will still be unable to mingle with the general public like we did before the coronavirus lockdown.

It is hoped the potential easing would allow close family members to meet for meals, allow couples who do not live together to see each other, and allow friends to share childcare.

Ministers are said to want to prevent a free-for-all which could allow the pandemic to take hold again in a second wave.

Brits would nominate a list of people they want to be able to see, drawn from no more than one or two households.
Government officials are still trying to thrash out how such a system would work as plans begin to be drawn up about how to ease the lockdown.

Transport secretary Grant Shapps today warned Brits that the lockdown will stay if they flout the rules.

Pictures have emerged this week of growing numbers of people heading outside, with road traffic up 10 per cent.

Britain entered the coronavirus lockdown on March 24, and some European nations are beginning to ease measures.

Ministers however are reportedly gloomy about any significant easing of the lockdown on May 7, needing to meet five key tests including slashing the number of cases and securing regular supplies of PPE.

Staff are seen wearing facemasks and passing drinks on a long stick to a queue of drivers as Costa Coffee reopened in Mansfield on April 24

Fears are growing Britain is cracking under the lockdown. Queues outside B&M in Basildon on April 24

Currently the UK rules state that people should not meet up with anyone they do not live with.

And people continue to be urged to stay inside and only go out for essentials such as food shopping or daily exercise.

Over the past few days however drivers were seen queuing at a Costa Coffee in Mansfield, and hundreds of people flocked to the seafront in Hove, East Sussex.

Menawhile, shoppers gathered at a B&M in Basildon, Essex, and people were seen drinking on Hampstead Heath in London.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is reportedly fearful of a second wave and is reluctant to be hasty in easing lockdown measures – despite pressure from inside the Cabinet.

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, also suggested lockdown measures could be eased with “bubbles” of friends.

Ms Sturgeon told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland: “Some countries are starting to look at slightly expanding what people would define as their household – encouraging people who live alone to maybe match up with somebody else who is on their own or a couple of other people to have almost kind of bubbles of people.”

The First Minister added: “Now, none of these are fixed decisions yet, but these are all the kind of things we’re trying to work through.”

She stressed the strict measures were still “absolutely necessary, but said Scotland needs “to chart a way forward” to live with the virus over the coming months

Health secretary Matt Hancock warned the government would not ease lockdown restrictions until it was certain they could prevent a devastation second wave of infection.

Britain’s death toll rose today to 19,506, while the total confirmed cases is now 143,464 – with the worldwide figures sitting at 196,931 deaths and almost 3million cases.

The race is on to find a vaccine, with human trials kicking off in the UK today led by a team from Oxford University.
China has suggested an “emergency” vaccine could be ready by September, in time to combat a potential second wave.

Meanwhile, bored Brits could get a boost as plans are finalised for the return of the Premier League behind closed doors.