Casual sex will be legal again from Monday as England moves to the next stage of Boris Johnson’s lockdown roadmap.
Under the new rules which relax some of the measures put in place during the third national lockdown, up to six people (or two different households) will be allowed to mix indoors.
Mixing indoors will be allowed at several locations including pubs, restaurants, hotels, B&Bs and private homes.
Lockdown restrictions have made the last year especially difficult for couples who do not live together as mixing indoors has been forbidden for most of the pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told people that intimate contact such as hugging would be allowed again but that people should take caution in a bid not to continue to spread the virus.
Boris said, “We’re updating the guidance on close contact between friends and family, setting out the risks for everyone to make their own choices.
“This doesn’t mean we can suddenly throw caution to the winds. In fact, more than a year into this pandemic, we all know that close contact such as hugging is a direct way of transmitting this disease.
“I urge you to think about the vulnerability of your loved ones, whether they’ve had a vaccine – one, or two doses – and whether there’s been time for that vaccine to take effect.”
Prior to this new step, casual sex had been banned at several different points of the pandemic as only those in established relationships were allowed to mix.
Couples were then told that they could see each other indoors, only if an exclusive support bubble was formed – subject to meeting specific criteria.
The Indian variant has caused uncertainty about the prime minister’s initial promise that all limits on social contact will be lifted by the 21st of June.
The vaccination roll-out continues but the new Indian covid variant continues to spread across England.