Officials in the Republic of Ireland have called on young people to stop having sex with their partners if they don’t live together. The HSE, the parent department of Ireland’s Department of Health told young Irishmen to have sex over the phone, online, or masturbate as there has been a renewed increase in the role young people play in the spread of COVID-19 following the lifting of lockdowns and other safety measures.
"If you decide to be sexually active with someone living outside of your household, limit it to as few partners as possible, preferably one regular partner. Consider masturbation or remote sexual activity (eg, online) as alternative to physical sexual activity with others", read the HSE leaflet.
The organisation also told younf Irish people to "wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after any sexual activity".
The Health Service Executive's advice left Irish people enraged with some on social media criticising the country’s officials.
How absolutely ridiculous and perverse— Annette Donnelly (@annetted1234) August 3, 2020
Just when I thought it couldn't get anymore demented.. sick...— dear Julian💗 (@Julian57110360) August 3, 2020
Many found the advice to be yet another attack on people’s freedoms.
"So we can't stand beside each other, c [sic] each others faces, shake hands, have a drink together, look at each other, breathe fresh air, watch live sport or have sex. I have an answer, f**k off", wrote one user.
Now the Govt is in your bedroom— SeanOSé Irl Ltd (@SeanOSeIrlLtd) August 3, 2020
Tune in next week and will see what goes on in the bathroom.
Other netizens accused Irish authorities of being backward in their thinking.
....'only be sexual active with partner living in same household'.. 'no kissing'.. I went to sleep and woke up in 1920s Ireland....next thing if you have period you wont be allowed outside... oh wait..😯— Iris Murray (@irismurray2) August 3, 2020
Some users said that sex online is not as safe as the HSE said
But...sex online? I can see some videos being made unbeknownst to one of the people involved and loads of issues with that. I think that part of the advice is way off mark.— Tracy 💜 🇮🇪 🇳🇴 (@AddressingLife) August 3, 2020
Still others made fun of the guideline's wording.
When they say outside your house - is that just the garden or can it be on the path?— Séamas #blacklivesmatter (@FunSemaphore) August 3, 2020
Is the HSE advising us to watch porn? It would seem so. Any good sites lads?— Blue Light Smugglers (@LightSmugglers) August 3, 2020
It’s unclear what prompted the Health Service Executive (HSE) to issue the advice as the Republic of Ireland is one of the few European countries that managed to suppress the coronavirus outbreak. At the moment of writing, there more than 26,000 cases, 1,763 fatalities in the country. Some 23,364 have been cured of the infection. In recent days there has been a minor increase in new infections, but since the middle of May, cases have not exceeded the 100 mark.