Is it safe to form a COVID-19 'support bubble' with friends?

Is it safe to form a COVID-19 'support bubble' with friends?
Illustration by Peter Hamlin.;

Is it safe to form a COVID-19 "support bubble" with friends?

Yes, if done correctly.

Support bubbles, also known as quarantine pods, may help fend off loneliness and anxiety after months of social distancing. The idea, which originated in New Zealand, calls for two people or to agree to socialize in person only with each other to limit the risk of infection.

Experts say don't do it unless everyone agrees to follow social distancing guidelines while outside the bubble.

"You are now swimming in the same pool with not just that person, but all the people those people are interacting with," said Dr. Aaron Milstone at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

Support bubbles are already catching on in the U.S. with reopenings underway. And earlier this month, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that adults living alone or single parents can form support bubbles with another household. Members of a bubble can meet, indoors or out, without remaining two meters (6 ½ feet) apart.

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