New coronavirus laws in England have made it illegal for couples who live in different homes to have sex indoors and stay overnight.
The Health Protection Regulations previously banned people leaving home without “reasonable excuse”, but the provision has been replaced by stringent curbs on where people can sleep and gather together.
The new regulation reads: ‘No person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place indoors, and consists of two or more persons.’
Previously, anyone who goes inside another person’s home would be breaching the lockdown rules but now both persons could be prosecuted under the new amendment to the The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 bill, that was tabled before Parliament on Monday.
According to the new rules, only those with ‘reasonable excuses’ will be allowed to meet privately indoors, which does not include meeting up to have sex.
Reasonable excuses include jogging or exercising for elite athletes, movement of vulnerable people and key or essential workers.
Other people that can give reasonable excuses include people that meet in a private space for childcare, separated parents who live in different households seeing their children, people providing emergency assistance and those attending a funeral.
Police forces in the UK have been told to disperse any large groups and use fines and arrests ‘where appropriate’ as a last resort – but they can only ‘direct’ someone to go home and have ‘no powers’ to remove someone by force, the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and College of Policing have said in a joint paper.
Their advice to officers also makes clear that the new coronavirus guidelines /laws ‘provide no power of entry.’ Downing Street has also been clear that police do not have the power to enter gardens to check party numbers.
The new regulations comes after a study by researchers at the universities of Anglia Ruskin and Ulster, showed six in 10 Britons have gone without having sexual activity during lockdown.