Two houses can form a coronavirus bubble in Wales from next week, First Minister Mark Drakeford revealed this afternoon.
The First Minister announced at the daily coronavirus briefing that two groups from separate residences will be able to form a metaphorical single household – which he described as an extended household – from next Monday, so long as the Covid-19 infection rate remains at the level it is currently at.
Mr Drakeford explained that each house will only be able to join with one other house. This means that many will have to pick and choose which house they wish to pair with.
But the First Minister did say that there will be no restrictions on the size of each house, and anyone on the shielding list will also be able to pair up with a second household.
And there will also be no travel restrictions when it comes to meeting up with your chosen extended household.
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Coronavirus bubbles in Wales
Mr Drakeford said: “We will be enabling many households to be reunited for the first time since March.
“It will help support many working parents. This is important support to those who are caring alone for others.
“But this will mean making choices. In some cases, these choices will be difficult
“We all have to face making these choices together.”
“Once an extended household is formed, it can’t be changed, and you won’t be able to substitute members.
“The next few days are an opportunity to have the discussion with the wider family to which two households will form this exclusive extended household.”
Lockdown let off, but new rules
Mr Drakeford went on to explain the rules that surround the new lockdown easement.
“All households are included. There will be no difference between the size of the two.
“You can travel from 6 July to join your extended household.
“But there still has to be some rules.
“Any one person will only be able to join one extended household.
“It is important for the extended household to keep records to help with tracing”
“The extended household must contain the same people for the extended future.
“If anyone from an extended household develops symptoms of coronavirus, that entire extended household will need to self isolate.
“It is important for the extended household to keep records to help with tracing.
“We will provide a simple form for anyone to use to keep that record.
“If someone tests positive, our test trace programme will swing into action.”
People who are shielding can meet family for first time
The First Minister also announced that anyone on the shielding list will also be able to join an extended household.
The most vulnerable people in the UK have been sent a letter informing them that they would have to completely self isolate until further notice.
And now, for the first time in weeks for many, those who are on the shielding list will be able to meet up with people outside of their own household.
“People who are shielded are included,” Mr Drakeford continued.
“Extended households bring additional risks – particularly to people who are vulnerable.
“If anyone in an extended household becomes ill, everyone will have to self isolate for 14 days.
“All this relies on the state of the virus at the end of the week […] including the two outbreaks in north Wales.
“We still hope to lift the rules on staying local. This will all be confirmed on Friday.”