The concept seems simple on paper but there are a few conditions that apply.
Last week as part of the ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the introduction of a ‘single social bubble’ that would permit those living alone or those who are a single parent (with children under 18) permitted to invite one visitor to their home.
In essence, the initiative was created to help those who are most isolated during the pandemic. While on the surface it seems like a pretty straight-forward concept, there are a few things you will have to keep in mind before flicking a text to your best mate who lives up the road.
So what’s the deal?
Well, as of right now, anyone who believes they fit within the above parameters will be able to form a bubble without proof or a permit, allowing them to nominate one person either living alone or within a sharehouse to visit them. Alternatively, the single person is able to visit their nominated person in their own home, as long as they are alone at the time.
Beyond that, there are a few other things to keep in mind.
- A face mask must be worn for all interactions within the ‘single social bubble’.
- The nominated person cannot be changed throughout the First and Second Steps (until at least October 26 when the Third Step is applicable).
- The 5km limit does not apply to forming a ‘single social bubble’. However, if you live in metropolitan Melbourne, you cannot form the bubble with someone from regional Victoria and vice versa.
- There are no restrictions on the number of times you can visit the person in your ‘single social bubble’. It is advised that you limit the number of interactions however.
- There is no time restriction on visits within the ‘single social bubble’, however if you wish to visit your nominated person outside then a two-hour time restriction applies.
- You can stay overnight with the nominated person within the ‘single social bubble’. Whenever you are looking to travel between homes, you must do so before the curfew.
- If the nominated person has children that cannot be left unattended, and there is no one else to care for them, the children can attend a visit.
- If you live alone but have a partner, you cannot form a social bubble and see your partner as well. You need to choose between one or the other.
- If you are single but live with a family or in a sharehouse, you are not permitted to make a social bubble. The ‘single social bubble’ only applies to those who live alone or are a single parent (with children under 18).
- If you have made a ‘single social bubble’, you are still able to visit other people outside for the purposes of exercise or in a public gathering. A discussion and an agreement must be made between both people in the bubble about the family or friends each person intends to visit in any interactions outside.
- If the person you are nominating as part of your ‘single social bubble’ is elderly, you must consider the vulnerability of that person and limit your interactions with others outside of your bubble to ensure the safety of you both.
- You can only form a ‘single social bubble’ if you are both safe and healthy. If anyone within your bubble feels unwell, they should immediately isolate at home and you should not visit them, and they should not visit you.
It must be emphasised that you do not need proof or a permit to create your ‘single social bubble’. As with everything else relating to COVID-19, you must be responsible and considered with any decisions you make.
A ‘single social bubble’ can be created now in accordance with the First Step of the ‘COVID Normal’ roadmap. For a full FAQ head here.
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