An extended household group means that two households are treated as being one. They can visit each other and stay over, without physical distancing. It also means that you can consider providing informal childcare within your household group.
This applies to:
- adults who live alone
- adults who live only with children under 18
- non-cohabiting couples and any children living with them
You can choose to form a household group with any other household. They do not need to be shielding. You should consider if it is right for you and your circumstances, and if so which household to join.
The person who is shielding can be in either household. They do not need to be the person living alone. The person who is shielding can be an adult, young person or child. Examples include:
- a 4-person household and a grandparent living alone who is not shielding
- a non-cohabiting couple, who both live with their parents
You should only form an extended household group with one other household. Everyone should try to maintain physical distancing from anyone outwith their household group.
All adults living in both households need to agree and follow this guidance. We encourage you to discuss this with the rest of your household. This is an important decision that should be properly discussed and agreed beforehand.
The arrangement can end at any time. Once stopped, you should not form a new household group with another household.
All members of a household group must self-isolate if someone develops COVID-19 symptoms.
If you are shielding and develop symptoms, call 111 immediately. Symptoms include:
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature (above 37.8 °C)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
For more information visit our latest coronavirus restrictions - level 4 page.