A week ago, on Monday, October 12, the English government introduced a new system of ‘Local Covid Alert Levels’ commonly referred to as the three-tier lockdown system, in an attempt to halt the second wave of COVID-19 in the country.

Couples who do not live together were saddened by the news that the ‘sex ban’, that was in place between June and September, will be reintroduced.

On Saturday, October 17 Downing Street confirmed that couples that live apart in tier two or three areas are not allowed to have sleepovers or meet indoors unless they are in a ‘support bubble’, according to The Independent.

As per the tier two coronavirus restrictions, which were introduced in London over the weekend, couples who do not live together will still be able to meet outdoors but must maintain social distancing, while couples that live together or are in a support bubble will be exempt.

According to the Evening Standard, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The rules on household mixing in Tier 2 set out that you should mix with your own household only unless you’ve formed a support bubble and that obviously does apply to some couples.”

The Guardian reports that the government defines a support bubble as “a household with one adult joins another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit places together.”

Although, if neither person in a relationship lived alone, they would not be able to form a support bubble.

When questioned, the spokesman asserted that there was no exemption for people in established relationships [who live apart and are not in a support bubble] in Tier 2 because “the purpose of the measures that were put in place is to break the chain in transmission between households and the scientific advice is there is greater transmission of the virus indoors.”

The spokesman said that government expects established couples to adhere to the rule of six during their outdoor meet-ups.

He also added that people living in Tier 2 areas should not travel to Tier 1 areas to socialise indoors.

“You should behave at all times in the basis of the tier that you live in,” he said.

“So if you live in Tier 2, you leave Tier 2, you should continue to behave under the rules for Tier 2.”

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