Lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has meant adapting to lots of changes in all aspects of life. And today one very, very big change has officially come into force: it is now illegal for two (or more) people from different households to have sex.
Whatever you saw for the future in 2020, it probably wasn't this. But alas, here we are, accepting such a previously unfathomable law without question because of what it means for the greater good.
The new coronavirus regulations that have come into force today (1 June) see a number of amendments being made to The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 bill. As well as extending socially distant, outdoor meet-ups to groups of six, it cracks down on indoor meetings between more than one household.
As human rights barrister Adam Wagner posted on Twitter last night: "From tomorrow sex between two (or more) people in a private place who do not live in the same household is a 'gathering' between 2 or more people and is therefore illegal."
The wording specifically outlaws indoor gatherings "when two or more people are present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or to undertake any other activity with each other."
"Any other activity", eh 😏. We know what they're getting at there.
It is not yet certain how a person breaking this law could be prosecuted. People have been issued fines for breaching lockdown laws up until now, so it's likely this will hold the same punishment, but specifics haven't been confirmed.
There are a small number of exceptions to this ban on indoor gatherings between households (you can check out the list here) but none of them are likely to fly if you're caught having sex with someone outside of your household. Sorry about that.
Although it's long been pretty obvious that sex (or any physical contact at all) is completely off the cards between two people who don't live together while the pandemic continues, that doesn't take away from how hard a time it is for people who are missing physical affection. It's especially difficult for people who are in relationships but aren't living with their partners. Although they can now meet outside, it's still deemed too risky to touch or kiss, which can feel endlessly frustrating.
But the more robustly we honour the government's rules, hopefully the quicker the trace of the virus will reduce so it's safe enough to resume normal life. Let's try to look on the bright side.
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