Couples living apart in Tiers 2 and 3 of Boris Johnson’s lockdown zones are no longer allowed to have sex in each other’s homes unless they are part of a “support bubble”.
Birmingham, part of the West Midlands, and other areas have been put under further restrictions after a rise in confirmed coronavirus cases, with London, Essex, and York set to enter the higher infection tiers from midnight.
New amendments to the coronavirus laws from June made casual sex and sex with someone you did not already live with illegal, as that would constitute a gathering. The law was relaxed in September for couples in an “established relationship”, but the ban on casual sex remains.
Under Prime Minister Johnson’s new three-tiered social distancing and curfew system, those couples living apart in Tier 2 (medium) and Tier 3 (high) zones will find themselves prohibited from having sex at each other’s homes.
A government spokesman confirmed the rules, telling reporters on Friday: “The rules on household mixing in Tier 2 set out that you should mix with your own household only unless you have formed a support bubble and that obviously does apply to some couples.” (A support bubble is where a lone person may form a group with another household.)
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Asked why the September clause for non-cohabiting couples not in an established relationship was removed, the government spokesman explained: “Because the purpose of the measures that were put in place is to break the chain in transmission between households and the scientific advice is there is greater transmission of the virus indoors.”
Couples not living together and not in a support bubble may still meet outside, as long as they “follow social distancing and the hand, face, space rules”, the spokesman said, according to the Birmingham Mail.
The issue of sex and coronavirus restrictions hit the headlines in May when it was revealed that the architect of the first lockdown, Imperial College’s Professor Neil Ferguson, had allowed his married mistress to travel to his home twice, despite it being a direct violation of the rules, which at the time were the most strict that the entire country had experienced.
Ferguson was forced to resign as the government’s scientific advisor, with the police saying they would not be investigating the situation, despite officers at the time facing criticism for their heavy-handed approach to other Britons allegedly breaking lockdown laws.
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