Got a new bae during lockdown? Wear a mask during sex, suggests Canada’s top doctor

07 September 2020 - 05:30 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Skip kissing and wear a mask during sex, says Canada’s chief medical officer.
Skip kissing and wear a mask during sex, says Canada’s chief medical officer.
Image: 123RF/lanych

“Skip kissing. Avoid face-to-face contact. Wear a mask during sex. Or engage in sexual activity alone.”

This is the advice of Canada’s chief medical officer, Dr Theresa Tam, during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tam said it’s best to stop kissing and suggested people wear a mask to stop the spread of the coronavirus with new partners. She said the lowest risk sexual activity during Covid-19 “involves yourself alone”.

“Sexual health is an important part of our overall health,” she said in a statement.

“However, sex can be complicated in the time of Covid-19, especially for those without an intimate partner in their household or whose sexual partner is at higher risk for contracting the virus. Like other activities during Covid-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimise the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus,” said Tam.

According to Tam, chances of getting the virus through semen or vaginal fluids are “very low”, but it's the close contact that comes with sexual activity that could increase the risk of getting or passing Covid-19 to new partners.

“Even if the people involved do not have symptoms, sexual activity with new partners does increase your risk of getting or passing Covid-19 through close contact, like kissing,” said Tam.

Tam said precautions such as checking for any symptoms, limiting consumption of alcohol, and other substances before sexual relations are some that should be considered.

“The most important step is to establish a trusting relationship with your sexual partner so that you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions,” she said.

In May, President Cyril Ramaphosa said hugging, kissing, and shaking hands are “a thing of the past”.

In his address to the nation at the time, he stressed that due to Covid-19, SA was entering a “new phase” of social interaction which would “require each of us to change our own behaviour in profound ways”.