Amid easing a host of lockdown measures in recent weeks owing to a fall in the number of daily deaths from Covid-19, one of the British government’s new restrictions over allowing two or more people from different households to spend the night together, has sparked mockery on social media.
The British government altered its coronavirus rules on Monday, making it illegal for two or more people from different households to meet up indoors or spend the night in private with one another, the Washington Post reported.
Appearing on “Good Morning Britain” the next day, Conservative Party lawmaker Tobias Ellwood said, “I’m happy to say it’s ridiculous,” after he came under pressure from anchor Piers Morgan to admit his true feelings about the lockdown sex ban.
Without discussing any further, he said, he did not want to spend time talking about a story he had not had the chance to read up on.
As per the new restrictions, those caught spending the night in another household can be prosecuted and fined up to $125 if found to be breaking the rules.
Couples who do not live together are, however, allowed to spend time together outside — although intercourse outdoors is also illegal in Britain.
On Tuesday morning, the hashtag #SexBan was trending in Britain, as many mocked the government for its attempt at keeping people apart to prevent transmission of the virus.
Simon Clarke, a junior housing minister, told LBC radio the new measures are designed to make sure “we don’t have people staying away from home at night.”
The amendment to the rules prompted many Britons to recall the recent scandal of Neil Ferguson, a key science adviser to the British government, who was caught breaking lockdown rules by allowing a woman described as his “married lover” to visit him at his home. He had been a driving force behind the government’s strict lockdown rules.