Health organisation ACON have encouraged the LGBTIQ community to take social distancing seriously during the coronavirus pandemic.
This means reducing physical contact and no casual sex encounters, in a bid to stop COVID-19’s spread.
“We know our communities are responsible when it comes to looking after their health and the health of their partners,” the NSW LGBTIQ organisation said on Friday.
“With the current situation surrounding COVID-19 and the need for social distancing, we strongly encourage everyone to not engage in casual sex at this time.
“Touching and kissing are key areas for transmission, and direct personal contact is a risk for transmission.”
This is why authorities are asking Australians to practice social distancing and good hygiene practices.
“As per official advice, people need to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between each other,” ACON advised.
“[People need] to avoid physical contact such as shaking hands, hugging and kissing.
“While COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, physical contact during sex carries a risk of transmission.
“We all need to play our part. It is important we look to other means to stay socially connected.
“[This includes] using alternative, more virtual means to engage with prospective sexual partners from the comfort of your own home.
“Public health officials have distinguished between interactions with the general public, and personal contact with partners and others in your home environment.
“Sexual relationships in your usual domestic situation are not being advised against.”
However, good hygiene practices are vital for everyone during the coronavirus pandemic, ACON said.
“Respectfully, with the health of our community in mind, we ask that you play your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” they urged.
“People in our communities have rallied together in times of adversity to care for each other before. We can and will again.”
New coronavirus distancing measures for indoor areas
On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced new limits for indoor areas of one person for every four square metres.
The rule dramatically limits the number of people allowed in restaurants, pubs and other venues.
“If you’ve got a room that’s 100 square metres, then you can have 25 people in that room,” he said.
“You should also continue to practice wherever possible the 1.5 metres of healthy distance between each of us.”
Anyone who is sick or feeling unwell should stay home and avoid contact with others.
If you develop known symptoms such fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath, call ahead to a medical practitioner or contact healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
If you’ve recently returned from overseas or come into contact with someone with COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 14 days.
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