Know your rights: Support bubbles

What is a support bubble, and can I be part of one?

A support bubble is when an isolated person from one household has close contact with one other household. In a support bubble, also called a paired household, the 2 households can meet indoors, even though they do not live together. This is described as an extended household.

There are special rules about who can form a support bubble. You can only form a support bubble if you:

  • Live alone
  • Live alone with children under the age of 18
  • Share parenting or custody arrangements
  • Live with an adult you provide care for
  • Live by yourself and have a carer or carers who support you, including a live-in carer

Remember that support bubbles can only include 2 households. This means that you cannot:

  • Have close contact with anyone else outside your bubble
  • Join a bubble if the other household is already in a bubble with someone else
  • Be in multiple support bubbles

You can travel outside of your 5km radius to meet with your support bubble. However, you should try to form a bubble within your 5km radius, where possible.

If someone in your support bubble gets symptoms of COVID-19, they must self-isolate immediately and phone a GP for advice. You can find a GP in your area through the HSE website.

Read more about what to do if someone in your bubble gets COVID-19 on

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you can find comprehensive integrated information online at and you can get daily updates on what’s changed on Twitter at @citizensinfo. You can also get information and advice from:

  • The Citizens Information Phone Service: Call 0761 07 4000, Monday to Friday, 9am – 8pm
  • Our national call back service: Visit to request a phone call from an information officer

Citizens Information Centres are currently not open to drop-in callers. You can contact your local centre by phone or email for information and advice.