In order to check the spread of the coronavirus, England has made sex between people from different households illegal. The new law, which comes into effect from 11:30 am local time on Monday, also bans overnight stay at any place other than one's home. Those caught flouting the ban will have to pay a fine of $124, which if paid within 14 days, will be reduced to $62.
At the beginning of the lockdown, Britain's deputy chief medical officer Jenny Harries had reportedly asked couples to make choices and stick to them.
Suggesting couples to move in together if they wanted to continue seeing each other, once the lockdown was imposed, Harries, while addressing a press conference, had stated: "The issue here is that we do not want to have people switching in and out of households. It would defeat the purpose of the reduction in social interactions and would allow transmission of disease."
Private Gatherings at Home Punishable for Owner Too
The Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2020 make it illegal for couples/individuals staying in different households to have sex in their home, until further notice. Sex in public places is already illegal in the UK.
Under the new law, gatherings in any place, including private home, that includes two or more people, has also been banned. "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 indoors without the risk that the virus will spread," the new regulations say.
According to Metro, the new rules state: "No person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place indoors and consists of two or more persons.'
Earlier, those violating the lockdown were punished, but with the amended regulation, even the owner of the home where the gathering is held would be facing punishment.
"The rules say that only those with 'reasonable excuses' will be allowed to meet privately indoors, which does not include meeting up to have sex. Elite athletes, vulnerable people and key workers, come under reasonable excuses," reported the outlet.
Expressing shock over the new set of laws, the UK human rights attorney Adam Wagner tweeted: "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."
"The UK bans casual sex? Imagine my shock!" said another user.
"Sex with someone you don't live with is illegal from today. Ireland advised against rimming and the UK bans hookups," tweeted a user.
The coronavirus has infected over 275,000 people in the United Kingdom and killed more than 38,000 since its outbreak in Wuhan, China, last year.