These are the rules on sex with people from other households in England explained
In news that's both shocking and completely unsurprising at the same time, it is now illegal to have sex with someone from a different household.
It's all thanks to new lockdown laws introduced in England, designed to prevent people from socialising (or gathering) with one person from outside of their household in a private space.
Here's everything you need to know:
What do the new rules mean?
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The laws came into force on 1 June, and mean anybody caught having sex with somebody from outside their household could end up with a criminal record.
Previously, inter-household relations would have involved only one transgressor - the one visiting the house in question.
But now both parties (or 'all' parties if there are more than two) are liable to prosecution.
Let's be clear here, it's not the sexual activity per se that is illegal, more the overarching act of being in somebody else's home without "reasonable excuse" for doing so.
Are there any exceptions?
Broadly speaking, sexual relations between households remain off limits in a world in which we're urged to keep two metres apart from everybody else.
However, there are some instances where it would be legal for you to visit another house...
People who may have a "reasonable excuse" for venturing into another house include:
- sports professionals
- people attending funerals
- vulnerable persons fleeing a risk of violence
- those with unavoidable work commitments
- those moving house
- people who need to obtain medical assistance
We'd guess there might be other things on your mind if you find yourself in any of the above categories.
Those attending funerals of a loved one can stay overnight as a member of the deceased person’s household or a close family member of the deceased person,.
Athletes are able to stay in a different location to their own residence if they are training for a competition.
What about 'support bubbles'?
Starting from 13 June, households are allowed to form 'support bubbles' with other households.
Adults who live alone or with dependent children only can mingle with another, similar household without the need to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
That means couples who do not live together will be able to visit and to stay with each other. So have at it.
The Government describe the changes as “a targeted intervention”, designed to “provide extra support to some of those most impacted by the most difficult effects of the current social restrictions, while ensuring we continue to keep the rate of transmission down.”
There is no limit on the distance between households in a bubble, although officials are suggesting people should try to "stay local" where possible. Bubbles do not have to be formally registered.
You must not form a support bubble with another household if neither you nor they are in a single adult household.
What about outside?
While the new amendments to the law suggest stricter rules inside the home, outside of it, people in England are able to gather in groups of up to six people.
So could you take your bedroom antics out into the park to get around the rules?
Having sex in a public place is already illegal - maintaining a two metre distance while engaged in intercourse is also tricky at best.
Could police storm your bedroom?
It's a fantasy we all fear (or get a kick out of in some cases); police storming the bedroom with blinding flashlights.
But it's not likely to happen any time soon, even if you do irresponsibly flout lockdown laws.
Downing Street confirmed that the police do not have the powers to storm into anyone's home - unless they suspect "serious criminal activity" is taking place - reports the Mirror.