There will be no hook-ups just yet. Even though Quebec has taken major steps toward reopening, not all sexual contact is advisable right now. To help out residents who have been stuck at home for months, the government released new "recommendations and preventive measures" for sex during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The disease, it says, spreads through "close contact between people, including sexual contact (kissing, caresses, hugs, sexual relations, etc.)."

So, first off, "if sexual partners live together and neither of them has to follow self-isolating instructions, there are no restrictions on their having sexual relations."

They "must avoid having sexual relations," however, "if one partner has symptoms or is identified as a contact of an infected person."

The bad news is that "people who do not live together must avoid close physical contact (less than two meters), including sexual contact."

"This applies to all sexual partners who do not live together, irrespective of whether they are new, occasional or regular partners."

Moreover, "having anonymous partners or partners whose personal information is unknown can prevent public health authorities from ensuring proper follow-up in the event of infection with COVID‑19."

The government also warns that because of the current strain on the health care system, "it might take longer than usual to get tested for sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections (STBBIs), get test results or treatment."

For this reason, it says, "protecting yourself and others in order to avoid getting or spreading an STBBI is especially important."

"By avoiding overwhelming the health care system further, you will be contributing to the collective effort."

The new set of recommendations concludes with the statement that "you are your safest sex partner. Masturbation, telephone calls, and virtual dates will not spread COVID‑19."

This new webpage follows Premier Legault and National Public Health Director Dr. Horacio Arruda's half-joking request in April that Quebec residents remain monogamous for the time being.

The recommendations also clear up long-standing confusion about whether partners who do not live together can have physical contact.

Some gatherings of individuals from different households are now allowed in Quebec, but they must only take place outside and participants still have to stay two metres away from each other.

Stay tuned for more news and recommendations.

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