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What are Social Bubbles?

Topics Covered: Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora.

What are Social Bubbles?

What to study?

For Prelims: Meaning, what is a travel bubble?

For Mains: Significance, relevance for India and challenges ahead.

Why in News?

Many countries have started gradually lifting restrictions even as the number of cases of the infection continues to rise. 

One of the ways of effective social distancing strategies to keep the Covid-19 curve flat suggested by experts include the idea of social bubbles.

What are social bubbles?

The idea is based on New Zealand’s model of household “bubbles”, an exclusive social group that is allowed to meet with each other amid the pandemic.

A bubble is referred to as an individual’s household or the people that one lives with. People may be allowed to extend their bubbles slightly to include caregivers or children who might be in shared care.

These people don’t need to live in the same household but must be local.

New Zealand followed this approach during the lockdown and allowed the expansion of the bubbles as transmission slowed and restrictions eased.

Benefits of these bubbles:

In case a member of the bubble develops symptoms, the entire bubble quarantines itself, preventing further spread of the infection.

Bubbles allow those who are isolated to come into more social contact and to reduce the most harmful effects of the current social restrictions, while continuing to limit the risk of chains of transmission.

Have they been effective?

Studies have shown that the concept of social bubbles proved effective for New Zealand since it allowed people who were isolated, vulnerable or struggling to receive the care and support they needed.

Such a policy can be an effective policy for other countries to encourage compliance with social distancing regulations while meeting care and support needs.

Relevance of social bubbles at workplaces:

Social bubbles can also be applied by employers to create departmental or work unit bubbles of employees. For instance, for hospitals and essential workers, the risk of transmission can be minimised by introducing shifts with a similar composition of employees. This could mean clubbing together employees based on their residential proximity.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is a bubble?
  2. Travel vs Social Bubbles?
  3. Which countries have been implementing social bubbles?
  4. Name of the virus which caused COVID 19 disease.
  5. Location of New Zealand on world map.

Mains Link:

What are social bubbles? How they can help contain the spread of Novel Corona virus?


Sources: Indian Express.