UK government mocked for introducing COVID-19 'sex ban'
Alec Fenn

The UK has eased a host of lockdown measures in recent weeks as the number of daily deaths from COVID-19 continue to tumble, but a surprising new restriction has raised eyebrows. 

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced a new amendment, which stated that no one may participate in a gathering that takes place in a public or private place indoors and consists of two or more people.

The new legislation has been widely mocked in the British media, with several tabloids labelling it a "sex ban," though government ministers insist the new measure will help to keep people safe. 

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the new amendment. /Reuters

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced the new amendment. /Reuters

Junior housing minister, Simon Clarke, told the UK's LBC radio: "What this is about is making sure we don't have people staying away from home at night."

He was then asked if the new rules meant people were allowed to fornicate outdoors instead? Prompting the amused Clarke to respond: "It is fair to say the transmission risk of coronavirus is much lower in the open air than in internal space, but obviously we do not encourage people to do anything like that outside at this time or any other."

News of the restriction sent the hashtag #sexban trending on social media in the UK on Tuesday, while users on Twitter questioned the move given Johnson's reportedly colorful personal life. 

"I am happy to say it is ridiculous."
 -  Tobias Ellwood, Conservative lawmaker

Twitter user Jen Wood tweeted: "Is there a special 'sex force' to make sure everyone complies with this #sexban? Will they be knocking on windows and sending out drones or something?"

Conservative member of parliament, Tobias Ellwood, was equally skeptical: "I am happy to say it is ridiculous," he told the country's ITV television channel. 

Critics also questioned the move following the recent controversy involving senior government adviser Dominic Cummings, who caused uproar after breaking a host of lockdown rules by driving from London to Durham with his wife and child despite suspecting his partner had COVID-19.

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