Young people are asked to avoid intimate contact
Young people are being asked to choose having sex online or over the phone to stop the spread of Covid-19.
The new advice is designed to stop people having sex if they don’t live together, if possible.
It says people should consider masturbating or having ‘phone sex’ or ‘internet sex’ to avoid close contact as the country continues to battle against the spread of the coronavirus.
The new information campaign from the HSE and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) also said people should be washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after sex.
In a letter to pharmacies this weekend, the HSE’s safe sex and crisis pregnancy programme, and the IPU, said that “while sexual health may not be a primary healthcare focus in the current environment, as restrictions ease there is a strong possibility that heightened sexual risk-taking will occur and people’s sexual health and wellbeing will be affected.
“Young adults, in particular, are affected by crisis pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections and are more likely to engage in sexual activity with more than one partner.
“It is very important that accurate and trustworthy information is freely available to inform sexual health decision-making, particularly during the pandemic,” the letter said.
There has been a renewed increase in the role that young people play in the spread of Covid-19 as lockdown restrictions were eased in recent weeks.
Because they are less likely to experience serious symptoms, there has been criticism from some quarters about a lack of social distancing and the organising of house parties and other social events among young people.
However, there has been a rise in cases among younger people as restrictions were eased, including in the 25-44 age group.