Globally, people are being asked to stop hooking up in person. That’s because we all need to play our part in preventing transmission of COVID-19 – especially to people who might get serious ill from it. You shouldn’t be travelling unless necessary or urgent. If you do have sex with others outside your household, there are ways to reduce risk of COVID-19.

  • If you do have sex with others outside of your household, have as few partners as possible and pick partners you trust. Talk about COVID-19 risk factors, just as you would discuss PrEP, condoms, and other safer sex topics. Ask them about COVID-19 before you hook up.
    • Do they have symptoms or have they had symptoms in the last 14 days? Most people with COVID-19 have symptoms, but asymptomatic spread is possible. Fever, cough, sore throat, and shortness of breath are symptoms to ask about. Note that asking about symptoms is not a perfect way to know whether someone has COVID-19.
    • Have they been diagnosed with COVID-19 using a nasal swab or saliva test? People who have recovered from COVID-19 at least 10 days from the day their symptoms started and who have not had fever for at least three days are likely no longer infectious.
    • Be inventive to reduce the risk.
      • Masturbate together, using physical distancing (2 metres of more) and face masks to reduce risk
      • Be creative with sexual positions and physical barriers, like walls, that allow sexual contact but eliminate face to face contact
    • If two is company then three (or more) is definitely a crowd. Large gatherings of any type are not safe during COVID-19. Close contact with multiple people should be avoided. But, if you decide to find a crowd, below are tips to reduce your risk of spreading or getting COVID-19:
      • Limit the size of your guest list. Keep it intimate.
      • Go with a consistent sex partner.
      • Pick larger, more open, and well-ventilated spaces.
      • Wear a face covering, avoid kissing, and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
      • Bring an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
      • Washing your hands before and after sex is more important than ever.
      • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
      • Wash sex toys with soap and warm water

Having antibodies against the virus that causes COVID-19 or a prior positive diagnostic test do not mean definite immunity. Use test results with caution in helping you make decisions about sex.

You might also consider jumping on the phone or video call with your partner for now to limit the risk of transmitting COVID-19. Our friends at PrEPster shared their favourite guide to sex during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can find it by clicking here.

Thanks to NYC Health for their updated guidance, some of which we've used here.