To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, if will make an assessment of the potential merits of extending the scope of support bubbles to allow elderly couples to form a support bubble with their family.
This answer is the replacement for a previous holding answer.
31 December 2020
The eligibility criteria for support bubbles were extended when the local restriction tiers were re-introduced on 2 December include households with a child under one year old; households with a disabled child under five years old who requires continuous care; or a household with a single adult carer or a child carer looking after someone who requires continuous care. As such, unless a member of an elderly couple is the only adult in their household who does not need continuous care as a result of a disability, they are currently unable to form a support bubble.
We recognise that not everyone who would like to form a support bubble is able to do so. These difficult decisions must be taken because the formation of a support bubble and therefore the ability to have close contact with those you do not live with carries transmission risks. As a result, the eligibility criteria has necessarily been limited to smaller households most in need of support that cannot be facilitated through other means.