19 March 2021 Posted By : Eleanor Steafel and Alice Hall

Can you have sex in lockdown? The government rules if you live apart

On January 4, Boris Johnson plunged Britain into a third national lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the new variant of coronavirus. Under the new restrictions, people will only be able to leave their homes for limited reasons, with measures expected to stay in place for weeks.

This means that, when it comes to sex, things aren't going to get better anytime soon. 

In an address to the nation, Boris Johnson said the new coronavirus variant - which is 50 per cent to 70 per cent more transmissible – was spreading in a "frustrating and alarming" manner. Although support bubbles remain permissible, you are only eligible to form one if you live alone, if your household includes a child under the age of one, or if you are a single adult living with one or more children under the age of 18. 

So, we hate to be the one to break this to you- but if your partner lives in a separate household, sex is banned for the time being. Here is what we know...

What are the rules for the new national lockdown?

As of January 4, Boris Johnson put the country under harsh new lockdown restrictions. This replaces the four-tier system which was put in place on December 19. 

Under the new restrictions, which are similar to those set out in March last year, the Government has strengthened its “stay at home” message, allowing people in England to leave their residence only for five legally permitted reasons.

  • To work if it is “impossible” to work from home
  • To shop for essentials
  • To exercise
  • To provide care
  • For a medical appointment

You are allowed to exercise outdoors with one person outside of your household, although this should be limited to once a day and performed locally. So if you don't currently cohabit with your partner, a brisk walk around the local park might be your best chance of seeing them.

But be warned; under the harsh new restrictions, you are not allowed to sit down and have a drink together in the park. You should also keep two metres apart from the person you are exercising with to avoid passing on the deadly virus, so there won't be an opportunity for cuddling.

And as for overnight stays? They are a no-go. Households which are not in a support bubble are not allowed to mix with each other in any circumstances, so if you live apart from your partner it's likely that your sex life is going to suffer over the next few months. Police will have legal powers to enforce through fines and dispersing orders. Fines will stay at their current level of £200 for a first offence.

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