These are the rules on sex with people from other households in Scotland explained

As lockdown continues in Scotland – with restrictions lifting at a slow but steady pace – what are the rules on sexual relations with those from outside your own home?

Obviously, bedroom antics are not allowed, with members of households only allowed meet up with one other household outside up to a maximum of eight in the group.

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Indoor liasons remain a no-go between you and those who don’t live within the same four walls.

So when might the population of Scotland begin to stop taking cold showers?

Here’s everything you need to know:

Will I be able to have sex in Phase 2 of lockdown?

Scotland is currently in Phase 1 of its four stage plan to get out of lockdown.

That means there is a “high risk” the virus is not yet contained, and the NHS may still be overwhelmed without some restrictions in place.

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Phase 2 of the roadmap will allow people to meet outside with larger groups of people from a different household, with physical distancing in place.

It may also permit people to meet with family or friends in another household indoors, providing it is considered safe to do so and physical distancing and strict hygiene measures are followed.

However, to progress to Phase 2, the virus must be under control, with the R rate of infection consistently below one and a sustained decline in infectious cases.

The Scottish government will continue to hold a review of current restrictions every three weeks as a minimum, meaning the next review is expected to take place on 18 June.

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Any changes could then come into force “within days” of this date, providing the country continues to make progress in its handling of the virus outbreak.

Phase 2 won’t allow for intimate, inter-household activities, as even though people may be permitted to meet with friends indoors, physical distancing and strict hygiene measures will still need to be followed.

Even Phase 3 of the roadmap indicates that physical distancing and hygiene measures will need to be observed.

It’s not until the fourth and final stage that mentions of physical distancing and hygiene are omitted, although their “continued importance” will still be “emphasised”.

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Could exceptions be made?

(Photo: Shutterstock)(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

It’s possible that exceptions could be made to the rules to allow for couples who have been separated throughout the coronavirus epidemic to see each other once again behind closed doors.

Public health experts have been campaigning for a change, with Professor Linda Bauld of Edinburgh University telling The Sun she hopes to see amendments to the guidance soon.

“It’s all well and good for us of middle age — people made decisions about whether they move in with their partner or not,” she said.

“But when you’re in your younger years, they’ve been so badly affected, and I do think that this needs a lot of further thought.

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“From a public health perspective, as we move forward, I would hope the guidance would be that intimate relationships could restart. But we limit that to the person we have regular intimate contact with, even if they’re not resident with us.”

Can I have sex outside?

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.

What about 'support bubbles'?

From 13 June, households are allowed to form 'support bubbles' with other households in England.

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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.

There is as yet no word on if similar plans for support bubbles could be introduced in Scotland.

Nicola Sturgeon said in early May the Scottish government was considering how to ease lockdown measures, exploring options such as “bubble” arrangements where people can meet with others outside their own households in small groups.

But as yet, nothing has come to be confirmed in legislation.

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