LONDON — Some grandparents in England will be able to hug their grandchildren for the first time in months — and couples who live apart can legally be intimate — under an easing of lockdown rules imposed during the coronavirus pandemic.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Wednesday that adults living alone or single parents adults can form “support bubbles” with another household.
Starting Saturday, two households can form a bubble that allows them to meet, indoors or out, without remaining two meters (6 ½ feet) apart. It’s an exception to social distancing rules that allow people to meet in groups of up to six, but only outdoors and if they observe social distancing.
The government says the change is intended to help people living alone who have been especially isolated during the U.K.’s 11-week lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic.
The change applies only in England. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can make their own policies.
Further lockdown easing is expected Monday, when non-essential stores and outdoor spaces such as zoos can reopen in England.