These Are The Dos And Don'ts of Socialising In The UK Right Now

It can be hard to keep up. Here's what you need to know if you live in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.

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Governments in the UK are gradually easing lockdown measures on socialising, working, shopping and schooling – but unless you’re keeping on top of all the briefings, it can be pretty hard to keep up.

Socialising is top of lots of people’s agendas because – we get it – you miss your family, friends and partners. Some of you probably miss colleagues, too. So what are the dos and don’ts of socialising right now? Here’s a quick recap.

In England

DO meet outdoors in groups of up to six people, however you must stay 2 metres apart at all times to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. If you have picnics, make your own food and avoid sharing. Take hand sanitiser with you to keep hands clean. A different rule applies for those who are shielding.

DO form a support bubble with another household if you live alone – this comes into effect from June 13. This means you can basically act like you live together and don’t have to socially distance – so yes, hugging and kissing is allowed. You can also stay overnight. People who are shielding are not yet allowed to form support bubbles.

DO keep your support bubble exclusive. This means you should not switch the household you are in a bubble with or connect with multiple households.

DO think about whether it’s safe to form a support bubble with older or vulnerable relatives – especially if you’re meeting friends regularly, or going into work. Household transmission is one of the key ways coronavirus spreads.

DO meet up with one person from outside of your household if you’re shielding, as long as you stay 2 metres apart.

DON’T form a support bubble with another household if you live with other people. If you live with housemates and your partner lives with housemates too, you can’t form a support bubble. Nor can one couple form a support bubble with another couple. But you can see them outside at a 2 metre distance.

Nuthawut Somsuk via Getty Images

In Wales

DO meet up with one other household outside if you want to, making sure you stay local and maintain social distancing. You don’t need to meet up with the same people from the same household every time. There is no restriction on the number of people who can meet outdoors at any one time as long as it’s only two households meeting.

DON’T leave your local area to meet up with other households, unless you are providing care for, or helping, someone who needs it – like a child or elderly relative.

DON’T meet up with other people indoors. You can only mix with people you live with indoors.

In Northern Ireland

DO meet up with groups of six people outside, as long as you remain 2m apart from each other and maintain hand and respiratory hygiene practices. People who are over 70 and pregnant women are considered to be more vulnerable and therefore should be careful in adhering to social distancing and hand hygiene, but they can still meet with others. This rule does not apply to those who are shielding.

DO meet up with one person from another household if you are shielding, but you should strictly observe social distancing and hygiene practices to stay safe.

DON’T meet up with other people indoors. You can only mix with people you live with indoors.

In Scotland

DO meet up with friends and family outdoors. You can meet one other household outdoors in a maximum group of eight people – this includes meeting in parks or gardens – but social distancing is required. This advice doesn’t apply to those who are shielding, who have been told they can go outdoors to exercise from 18 June but can’t meet up with other households.

DON’T meet up with other people indoors. It’s been suggested that from June 18, people in Scotland may be able to meet people from other households indoors if they socially distance and follow hygiene measures, however for now it’s business as usual.