Gov’t Advice: Meeting people from outside your household

Here is a summary of the updated Government advice on meeting people from outside your household.

This guidance explains how you can protect yourself and others from coronavirus when meeting people that you do not live with.  At all times, it’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. You should only have close contact with people outside of your household if you are in a support bubble with them.

You should only meet people you do not live with in 3 types of groups:

  • Outdoors in a group of up to 6 people from different households
  • single adult households – in other words adults who live alone or with dependent children only – can continue to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’ with one other household
  • A group of 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household), in any location ‒ public or private, indoors or outdoors. This does not need to be the same household each time.

It remains the case ‒ even inside someone’s home ‒ that you should socially distance from anyone not in your household or bubble. Those who have been able to form a support bubble (which is those in single adult households) can continue to have close contact as if they live with the other people in their bubble. This should be exclusive and should not change. This change also does not affect the support you receive from your carers.

Staying alert when meeting people you do not live with

In order to keep you and your family and friends safe, it remains very important that you stay alert when meeting family and friends.

You should:

  • only socialise indoors with members of up to 2 households ‒ this includes when dining out or going to the pub
  • not hold or attend celebrations of any size (such as parties or wedding receptions) where it’s difficult to maintain social distancing
  • not stay overnight away from your home with members of more than 2 households (including your support bubble)
  • limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are attending a place with, even if you see other people you know, for example, in a restaurant, community centre or place of worship
  • try to limit the number of people you see, especially over short periods of time, to keep you and them safe, and save lives. The more people with whom you interact, the more chances we give the virus to spread

You can also minimise the risk of spreading infection by following some key principles. You should:

  • continue to follow strict social distancing guidelines when you are with anyone not in your household or your support bubble
  • take hygiene precautions by washing your hands as soon as you are home for at least 20 seconds, use hand sanitiser when you are out, use a tissue when sneezing and dispose of it safely, and cough into the crook of your elbow
  • access private gardens externally wherever possible – if you need to go through someone else’s home to do so, avoid touching surfaces and loitering
  • avoid using toilets in other people’s home (outside of your support bubble) wherever possible and wipe down surfaces as frequently as possible
  • using disinfectant, wipe down any surfaces or door handles people from outside of your household or support bubble come into contact with if walking through your home
  • avoid sharing plates and utensils with people outside of your household or your support bubble
  • avoid using paddling pools or other garden equipment with people outside of your household or bubble.

Going to a pub or restaurant with members of another household

When eating or drinking out with people you do not live with, you should only meet one other household if you are seated indoors.

If you are eating or drinking outdoors, you can do so with one other household or in a group of up to 6 people from different households. You should take care to limit your interactions with anyone outside the group you visit these places with.

In all cases, people from different households (unless in support bubbles) should ensure they socially distance as much as possible. Premises should also take reasonable steps to help you do so in line with COVID-19 secure principles.

Staying overnight with members of another household

You, and members of your household or support bubble, should only stay overnight in groups of up to 2 households (anyone in your support bubble counts as one household). This can be in each other’s homes or other accommodation, such as hotels or apartments. You should, wherever possible, socially distance from people you do not normally live with, take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible.

Sharing food and drink

You should try, wherever possible, not to pass each other food or drink unless you live together or are in a support bubble together. You should ensure that plates or utensils are thoroughly cleaned before use. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and use disposable towels if possible.

Using garden equipment

You should not share garden equipment with people outside of your household or your support bubble because of the risk of transmission from shared surfaces. You could bring your own equipment or if you have to use chairs, for example, you should wipe them down carefully with household cleaner before and after use.

You should try to avoid shared equipment. For example you should use your own tennis racquet, golf club or basketball. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if it is to be used by someone else.

You should avoid using paddling pools and private swimming pools with people outside of your household or support bubble.

Playing sport

You can exercise or play sport outdoors but this should only be in groups of up to 2 households, or in groups of up to 6 people from different households as is the current rule. You should only do so where it’s possible to socially distance from those you do not live with.

People who play team sports can train together and do things like conditioning or fitness sessions, but should not do so in groups of more than 6 and you should socially distance from people you do not live with. While groups could practise ball skills like passing and kicking, equipment sharing should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. The government intends to publish advice as soon as possible on how team sport can restart safely.

You can also play tennis with people from outside of your household (or support bubble) but you should socially distance wherever possible. Any equipment that is used should be cleaned frequently. Cleaning should be particularly thorough if equipment is to be used by someone else.

Group prayer

Places of worship can open for services and group prayer, but should operate in compliance with COVID-19 secure guidelines. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble. You should also limit social interaction with anyone outside the group you are with even if you see other people you know.

Travelling to meet people

You can travel to meet people irrespective of distance. You should continue to avoid using public transport and should cycle, walk or drive wherever possible.

You should take particularl care if you are travelling to an area that is experiencing a local COVID-19 outbreak and where where local lockdown measures have been imposed – you should avoid doing so if possible.

You should not travel with someone from outside your household or your support bubble unless you can practise social distancing, for example by cycling.

Lone adults with carers

If you are the only adult in your household, then you will be able to form a support bubble with any other household that is willing to exclusively bubble with you. This is irrespective of whether carers visit you to provide support.

If you live with other adults including your carers, then you will still be able to form a support bubble, however this would need to be with a single adult household.

See the full government guidelines.

For advice on staying safe when travelling, see our partner website, Disability Partnership Calderdale.