People having sex with anyone outside their household should wear a face mask and avoid kissing during intercourse to prevent getting coronavirus, a charity has warned.
Avoiding face-to-face contact during sex, washing hands before and after and limiting yourself to one partner will also reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, according to the Terrence Higgins Trust.
The sexual health charity said research showed 84% of people abstained from sex with anyone they did not live with during lockdown, but it is now “not realistic to ask people to avoid sex indefinitely”.
Dr Michael Brady, the charity’s medical director, said: “Sex is a very important part of life. Lockdown ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’ to break chain of STIs in Britain.
“That’s why, as the pandemic continues, we all need to find ways to balance our need for sex and intimacy with the risks of the spread of coronavirus.
“We’re clear that abstaining from sex is the best way to protect yourself.
“But we hope by issuing this advice we will help people to manage the risks of COVID-19 while also being able to have and enjoy sex.”
Currently there is no evidence to suggest coronavirus can be spread through sex, but it can be passed on by kissing or breathing on someone.
But the charity is still asking people to use condoms and get a sexual health test before having sex again.
It also warns you should not have sex with anyone if you or your partner have symptoms.
Demands for sexually transmitted infection (STI) tests increased during lockdown after a campaign by sexual health organisations.
The British Association for Sexual Health and HIV told Sky News it presented a “once in a lifetime” opportunity to eradicate STIs and HIV.