As Canadian provinces look at relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, a new set of measures are blowing in — like the “double bubble.”

Also called the “family bubble” or “new bubble,” the measure essentially allows two households to link, giving people a chance to socialize and interact with others.

New Brunswick was the first to float the idea. It’s one of the first steps the province is taking in its plan to reopen the economy while still keeping the spread of the coronavirus at bay.

Rules do apply. Public health officials stressed that the households are not interchangeable. Once you combine two households, that’s the way it stays. The decision to join bubbles also needs to be agreed upon by both households.

The measure also recently popped into Newfoundland and Labrador’s reopening plan.

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“I hope that this will help reduce some of the social isolation we all feel,” the province’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Janice Fitzgerald, said. “Especially those living alone.”

While it’s a “smart” way forward with many benefits for families, it needs to be contextualized with where and when it’s being applied,