People from two separate households will be able to form one extended household in Wales from Monday, July 6.
Welsh Government made the announcement on Monday, June 29, mirroring the ‘support bubble’ policy that already exists in England.
The concept will be introduced on the same day the government intends to lift the five mile ‘stay local’ restrictions still in place in Wales.
The policy is intended to support people who have been isolating alone for the duration of lockdown, as well as working parents who will need to find informal childcare as businesses reopen their doors over the summer holidays.
Charities had previously voiced concerns that people living alone were feeling the negative impact of lockdown, including loneliness and depression.
The agreement is made on a household as opposed to individual basis, meaning all members of one household must choose one other house to form the extended household with.
There are no restriction on the number of people included within the extended household.
Once that extended household has been formed, individuals must only travel between those two houses for the foreseeable future.
The Welsh Government also explained that if one member of an extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, the entire extended household will need to self-isolate, not just those living together.
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Making the announcement, First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “Thanks to the efforts everyone has made over the last few months, we have seen the number of new cases of coronavirus decline – but it has not gone away.
“I know people are missing seeing their families. We have some headroom to make a further change to the rules next week and we will introduce this new concept, which will enable people living in two separate households to form one extended household – they may be part of the same family or they may be close friends.”
Speaking at the Welsh Governments press briefing on Monday, June 29, Mr Drakeford added that families face “difficult choices” when forming extended households.
He added a cautious warning, saying people should “think carefully about who has the most need” and recognise the risks of including vulnerable and elderly people who are shielding.
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