A five-year-old has hugged her grandmother for the first time in three months as the Government’s new “support bubble” scheme came into effect in England on Saturday.
Heidi, from Worthing, West Sussex, was able to embrace Nana Pam because her grandmother lives alone and can now pair with one other household for support without observing social distancing rules.
Heidi’s father Gareth Snow, 37, filmed the moment the “best friends” were reunited.
“Today we have been able to reunite Nana Pam with her granddaughter and best friend Heidi,” he told the PA news agency.
“It has been a long three months of FaceTime and doorstep hellos at a distance, which has been hard on both of them as they are usually so close.
“For those living alone this will make life so much easier – a little bit of ‘normal’.
“They can now go for a walk along the seafront, picnic in the park together… Simple things that have sadly not been possible during lockdown.”
In Ashtead, Surrey, another grandparent was reunited with her family, including Emily, 10, Daisy, seven, and Benjamin, four, who had travelled from Bromley to see their grandmother.
Susan, who did not wish to give her second name, is retired and has been knitting jumpers for the trio during lockdown but it was the first time she had seen her grandchildren since March.
The new rule, which commenced on Saturday, means adults living alone or a single parent with children under the age of 18 can be treated as a single household for the purposes of following lockdown rules.
That means they can visit each other indoors in their homes – even staying overnight if they wish – and they will not have to observe the previous two-metre social-distancing rule.
The move comes ahead of a further easing of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions in England, with the reopening of non-essential shops on Monday.