Couples living separately have been told they should consider moving in together in the wake of the restrictions on movement imposed under the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that gatherings of more than two people are now banned as part of the government’s efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The new rules allow only four reasons for leaving the house: shopping for basic necessities like food and medicine, one form of daily exercise, for medical needs and commuting to work that cannot be done from home.
Speaking at the government’s daily coronavirus news conference on Tuesday, England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said these rules would also apply to non-cohabiting partners.
She warned they could pass on the virus if they continue to visit each other at their respective homes.
Dr Harries said couples could “test” their relationship and move in together while the lockdown restrictions are in place.
“If you are two individuals, two halves of the couple, living in separate households then ideally they should stay in those households,” she said.
“The alternative might be that, for quite a significant period going forward, they should test the strength of their relationship and decide whether they should permanently be resident in another household.”