Some people will finally be allowed to hug some grandparents in some parts of the UK from Saturday in a major change to lockdown.
A single-adult household can form a “bubble” with one other household and act as though they live together, permanently.
It means two households can finally break the two-metre rule to meet, laugh and love for the first time in almost three months. And some separated couples can finally reunite for overnight stays and sex.
Boris Johnson announced the shake-up tonight as he unveiled separate changes from June 15 – including re-opening non-essential shops and zoos.
It will be valuable respite to millions whose mental health has been stomped on by lockdown.
But critics may warn it’s far too soon as the UK still notches up hundreds of deaths per day.
And the policy is strictly limited to certain situations – with other lockdown rules very much continuing as planned.
That means it will leave some bizarre loopholes and many people will feel they’re left out.
Meanwhile, 2million people who are shielding will be unable to benefit from forming a bubble with another household, for their own protection.
Boris Johnson admitted people will find “anomalies” in “what people can and cannot do” – but that is “just inevitable”.
So what exactly has been announced, who can benefit and how? Here’s a full explanation.
From one minute past midnight this Saturday 13 June, two separate households in England will be allowed to join together in a “support bubble” under certain conditions.
They won’t need to follow the two-metre rule – meaning they can hug, kiss, share childcare and meals, hang out indoors, stay the night and even have sex for the first time since March 23 .
“All of those who are in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household,” a No10 spokesman confirmed.
It will be the first time in three months that different households have been given permission to break the two-metre social distancing rule.
But there are strict conditions to this and it does not apply to all households.