Jay Caboz

  • Canada's chief medical officer has advised people to wear face masks while having sex.
  • Dr Theresa Tam said that solo sex is the least risky sexual option when it comes to protecting yourself from Covid-19.
  • If you have sex, you should avoid face-to-face closeness, she said in a statement.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Canada's chief medical advisor recommends wearing face masks while having sex. 

Dr Theresa Tam said on Wednesday that people should also avoid kissing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Solo sex, she said, is the least risky sexual option and best way to protect yourself from the virus.

"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 Covid-19.

"Like other activities during Covid-19 that involve physical closeness, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading the virus.

"The lowest risk sexual activity during Covid-19 involves yourself alone."

According to Dr Tam, you're very unlikely to catch Covid-19 from semen and vaginal fluid, but it's the closeness that comes with sexual activity that could increase the risk if you are with 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," she said.

Precautions you should take before sexual relations, according to Dr. Tam, include checking for any symptoms, limiting consumption of alcohol and other substances "so you and your partner(s) are able to make safe decisions," wearing a mask that covers your mouth and nose, not kissing, and avoiding face-to-face closeness.

"The most important step is to establish a trusting relationship with your sexual partner," she said.

A recent study from Harvard University also found that having sex could spread the coronavirus, and recommended that couples who aren't quarantining together wear face masks during sex as a precaution.

In July this year, the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control issued safe-sex advice to Canadians which included using "glory holes," which are small holes in walls or barriers to allow for oral or penetrative sex.

"Use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact," the advice said.

Canada has recorded 129,425 cases of Covid-19, and 9,132 deaths, according to the government's figures.

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