Can I have sex while self-isolating?

COVID 19: Can I have sex while self-isolating?

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Is it safe to sleep with your partner if you're social distancing? Photo: Shutterstock.

Is it safe to sleep with your partner if you're social distancing? Photo: Shutterstock.


One expert weighs in on physical intimacy and the coronavirus.


THE recent coronavirus pandemic has seen new rules ushered in about self-isolation and social distancing.

And while we've been advised to stay two arm lengths away from others, how does that relate to physical intimacy?

According to one English health expert, the answer varies from case to case.

"If you or your partner are self-isolating because one of you have symptoms (cough or fever) then providing you live together then you do not necessarily need to give up sex for the seven day period recommended for individual cases to self-isolate," said Paul Hunter from the University of East Anglia.

"If you are free of symptoms but are social distancing, then there are no reasons why you cannot continue to have sex with your partner when you live together."

But older couples should be more careful.

"If you or your partner is in one of the vulnerable groups because of age or pre-existing disease then you need to stay away from them as much as possible and this would mean avoid sex.

"The evidence is unclear about whether vigorous exercise is bad for you when you are acutely unwell with fever or pneumonia. Nevertheless, it would probably be best to avoid sex whilst you feel poorly."

Professor Hunter also advised abstinence for couples who live separately.

"If your sex life is rather more bohemian and you cannot get to have sex without mixing with some/many other people, this mixing is advised against so stay at home. This is especially important if you are in one of the at-risk groups.

"Whether you do or do not still have sex during this period remember to wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds and avoid touching your or your partner's face with unwashed hands."