More people may be allowed to hug and kiss each other as the government reportedly looks at plans to expand coronavirus ‘support bubbles’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is believed to be looking at new ways to relax the existing rules.
Changes are expected to be announced in an address to Parliament tomorrow – Tuesday June 23 – our sister website the Mirror reports.
The address to Parliament was expected to cover the reopening of pubs and hairdressers on or after July 4 – and could also see the two-metre social distancing rule relaxed, with some businesses saying they won’t be able to open unless it is shortened.
The Mirror reports that the plans have not yet been confirmed by Downing Street.
The existing ‘bubble’ system has allowed two households in England join together permanently since June 13 – allowing people to break social distancing rules for the first time.
The system has reunited children with grandparents, and allowed some couples who live apart to spend time together after three months apart.
But millions have also lost out due to tight rules on the scheme.
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Under the existing rules ‘bubbles’ must consist of two households only, and one of those households must have only one adult.
Each household can also be in only one ‘exclusive’ bubble, forcing people to make difficult choices about whether to see a parent or a lover.
One option is said to be letting two households join together, as with the current rules, but to scrap the limit on numbers in each household.
A second option is set to be allowing a bubble of any number of households, but with a cap on the overall number of people in each bubble.
The PM said he has been “sticking like glue” to his plan to start reopening the hospitality and leisure sector from July 4 – including pubs, restaurants, cafes, hotels, cinemas, hairdressers and more.
But it’s likely not all sectors will reopen at once, due to the danger of pushing ‘R’ – the number of people each Covid-19 carrier infects – above one.