Sex with someone who doesn’t live in the same house as you do is illegal in England from Monday June 1, according to new coronavirus regulations.
An amendment to the Health Protection Coronavirus Restrictions Bill bans two people from different households in England from gathering in a private place during the coronavirus lockdown.
"No person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place indoors, and consists of two or more persons," it states.
Anyone caught breaking the law could be fined £100 (€111) but the penalty will be halved if it’s paid within 2 weeks.
Human Rights Barrister, Adam Wagner took to Twitter in disbelief on Sunday.
"I can't believe I'm about to tweet this” he says. "From tomorrow sex between two or more people in a private place, who do not live in the same household, is a 'gathering' between 2 or more people and is therefore illegal."
Afraid to say this is correct.— Adam Wagner (@AdamWagner1) May 31, 2020
I can't believe I'm about to tweet this.
From tomorrow sex between two (or more) people in a private place who do not live in the same household is a "gathering" between 2 or more people and is therefore illegal. https://t.co/aEiGIoweee pic.twitter.com/b0KZBACSQ4
That sparked a few replies, as you can imagine, including one from George Peretz QC who may have found a novel way around the new regulations.
As I read this, unless you live together, it’s now unlawful to have sex with your lover indoors, but fine outdoors (subject to public decency offences); but you can have sex with an escort indoors, as that is reasonably necessary for their work purposes (see 7(d)(i)). https://t.co/QXbT1EYikt— George Peretz QC (@GeorgePeretzQC) May 31, 2020
“As I read this, unless you live together, it's now unlawful to have sex with your lover indoors, but fine outdoors, subject to public decency offences, but you can have sex with an escort indoors, as that is reasonably necessary for their work purposes,” he said.
The regulations define a gathering as "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”.
These are the UK Government's official guidelines for lockdown:
"Right now you are only allowed to gather outdoors with people you do not live with.
"Seeing people outside, rather than inside, while obeying the two metre rule, greatly reduces the risk of transmission," according to the regulations. "Close contact with people from other households means a much higher risk of transmission, and according to the scientific advice, we cannot safely allow people to see people they don't live with us indoors without the risk that the virus will spread."