COUPLES who live apart are set to be banned from hooking up for sex under the new lockdown rules – unless they are bubbled up.
Under the strict new measures announced last night, people from separate households will not be able to visit friends and family at home unless they have formed a support bubble.
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Overnight stays and holidays will also be scrapped from Thursday, dashing any hopes of hooking up away.
The new guidelines state: "You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household – meaning the people you live with – or support bubble."
They continue: "Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences will not be allowed- including holidays in the UK and abroad."
A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household.
Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.
This includes staying in a second home, if you own one, or staying with anyone you do not live with or are in a support bubble with.
Couples who are in a bubble, however, needn't worry.
They can treat each other as though they are from the same household.
You can have close contact with people in your bubble, but must maintain social distancing rules with anyone outside it.
Ministers were previously said to be planning changes to social bubbles to make things easier for couples, but last night's lockdown announcement means it could be a long four weeks for some.
Boris Johnson ordered the country to "stay at home" for four weeks from Thursday in a fresh effort to "protect the NHS and save lives".
The PM revealed last night at a press conference that nearly everything will shut again for a month in a huge U-turn – just four months after the end of the first UK-wide shutdown.
People will only be allowed to leave home for specific reasons such as education, work if you cannot work from home and for exercise.
They can leave for recreation with their own household, or on their own with one person from another household.
It means couples who live apart and are not in a formal social bubble can go for a walk in the park, but they can't kiss or hold hands.
The PM admitted Christmas is set to be very different this year, with the pandemic likely to have a huge effect on people's celebrations.
But as experts now fear 50,000 people a day are being infected – double the official figures – Mr Johnson had to back down from his initial refusal to go into a second lockdown.
Professor Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance showed the nation a set of grim slides – warning that the death numbers could pass the first peak as early as the start of December.
And they said the number of deaths in the second wave could be DOUBLE that of the first.
Mr Johnson insisted he was right to try a local approach to try and get the rates of infection down, but admitted it was not enough and he "could not ignore" the reality.
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