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England banned sex in response to the coronavirus pandemic

Published Jun 2nd, 2020 8:07PM EDT
Coronavirus Sex Ban
Image: Martin Meissner/AP/Shutterstock
  • England effectively enacted a coronavirus sex ban with a law that would limit social gatherings of indoor groups consisting of at least two people.
  • The #sexban hashtag started trending on social media in response to the new COVID-19 social distancing regulations.

This is one for the record books, England. The country wanted to tackle the new coronavirus pandemic with herd immunity before realizing that allowing the virus to circulate would kill thousands of people before that level of immunity could be reached. Realizing its mistake, the UK government pivoted to doing exactly what everyone else was doing, which is enforcing strong social distancing measures that reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The country was able to flatten the curve to the point where the developer of one of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines started worrying about not enough people getting sick to test the effectiveness of the drug by exposing volunteers to potential infections. With almost 278,000 cases and nearly 40,000 deaths as of Tuesday morning, the UK is one of the hardest-hit countries. But it’s the country’s latest measure that will be mocked the world over, as the government has effectively attempted to ban sex.

The new law wasn’t meant to be a sex ban, which you may have seen trending on social media or in news reports. But the new rules that were outlined in the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 Act amount to preventing a person from having sex with anyone that doesn’t live at the same address.

“No person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place indoors, and consists of two or more persons,” the document reads, per RTL Luxembourg.

Here’s how the law defines a gathering: “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.”

Previous forms of the bill have not included such stark social distancing measures. If enforced, the law will ban any meetings between people who don’t reside at the same address.

The public has started taking shots at British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, “a known philanderer,” as RTL puts it, wondering whether he’ll abide by the new rules. Johnson already had COVID-19, so he might be immune. Then again, the new rules apply to everyone, regardless of whether they’ve been infected or not.

Piers Morgan mocked the regulation on Good Morning Britain, as seen in the video above. As others pointed out, the sex ban law would have worked better several weeks ago, before the curve started to flatten.

As a reminder, the novel coronavirus spreads from person to person via droplets that are expelled while coughing, sneezing, and talking. It’s not a sexually transmitted infection. However, close contact with a COVID-19 patient can be enough to spread the disease. There have been several studies that show how easy it is for the virus to move from person to person in indoor settings. It would spread just as easily while visiting other people in their homes if at least one person is infected, regardless of whether any sex happens to take place.

Mocking UK’s sex ban aside, it’s still advisable to limit your interactions with other people for as long as possible, and thus reduce the risk of spreading the disease in your community.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.