No Sex Please, we’re English

10 Downing Street
10 Downing Street

Lockdown Ins and Outs Just Got More Confusing

The current UK Government has beaten its own personal best for lazy, incompetent and outright confusing legislation with the latest update to the Coronavirus Regulations 2020. NB these apply only in England, so Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can just sit back and join in the laughter.


For the purposes of the Regulations, a “gathering” is 2 or more people present together in the same place to engage in any form of social interaction or any activity with each other. It is now illegal to have a gathering (2 or more people, remember) in a private place, which includes a private home. – The only exceptions are to be found in a list of “reasonable” excuses such as everyone being in the same household, work purposes, legal obligations etc.


Weirdly, members of a deceased person’s household may attend an indoor funeral, as may close family members, but no friends are allowed unless there are no household/family attendees. Does this mean that your best mate can’t come to your wake if your detested Cousin Mavis has already invited herself round for a ham sandwich and a glass of sherry? And how about the priest? Or do they count as present for “work purposes”?


More interestingly, you’re not allowed to invite your lover over for the night if you’re not already sharing a household. Seriously. Boris Johnson has just banned extramarital sex. And they say irony is dead. Of course, you could look into some of the “reasonable excuses” but it’s not clear how far these will get you in terms of avoiding a fine. Sex during funerals is still frowned on in polite company but may be your only legal option. Sex for work purposes is a possibility but you’d both have to be on the game for it to count. Sex with an elite athlete or their coach is an intriguing alternative but only counts if it’s for training or competition (can we expect some late additions to the Tokyo Games whenever they finally take place?)
There’s probably a special exemption for Dominic Cummings who is allowed to have sex with anyone he likes if it’s in order to test his eyesight. However, it should be emphasised that this is not compulsory – if approached, feel free to run away (especially if you are an elite athlete).


Failing all that, you’re allowed up to 6 people outside, so perhaps a sturdy hammock is the way to go. Or just a spot of dogging with no more than 5 likeminded individuals (it’s not entirely clear whether you’d have to count the dog).

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