Matt Hancock warns over casual sex Covid-19 risk

24 September 2020, 10:48

Matt Hancock has warned against casual sex due to the risk of transmitting coronavirus
Matt Hancock has warned against casual sex due to the risk of transmitting coronavirus. Picture: PA

Matt Hancock has said people need to "be careful" if having casual sexual encounters outside of "established relationships" due to the risk of spreading coronavirus.

The health secretary was asked about the "casual sex ban" after the government reversed a June decision last week which now allows couples who do not live together to have sex.

Mr Hancock was responding to new guidance that only "established" couples should be having sex.

He was asked on Sky News: "You're saying that no social distancing is needed in established relationships, what about people who are not in an established relationship?"

Mr Hancock replied: "In these rules that we have to bring in, there have to be boundaries, to coin a phrase.

"If you're saying that two households shouldn't mix, which we are in some parts of the country - in the North East, the North West, in Scotland, in parts of Wales - then you have to define what is the boundary of that."

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The Sky News presenter then asked what that boundary is and whether people could just say "I love you" and then consider themselves in an established relationship.

The health secretary responded: "I think we should stick to the letter of it which is that it's okay in an established relationship."

He was then pressed again on what that meant, to which he said people "just need to be careful" and "sensible".

"What it means is that people realising that by coming into close contact with people in other households then that is how the virus spreads," he added.

Mr Hancock also joked that "I know I am in an established relationship" with his wife.

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