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If you believe you have Coronavirus (COVID-19), or have developed a continuous cough, have a fever/high temperature, loss of smell or taste, or have come into contact in the last 14 days with someone who has; then please do NOT come into Sandyford. For further information about Coronavirus please visit NHS Inform





NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Sex, Social Distancing and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Sex and COVID-19

Maintaining our sexual health is an important part of our overall wellbeing. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting how we live, the nature of our relationships and how we experience intimacy with others. As the guidance around physical distancing evolves, so does our ability to spend time with people outwith our household. Scotland is currently in phase 3, which means that people are now able to form extended households, in certain circumstances, without the need to maintain physical distancing (when all members are free from COVID-19 symptoms). Intimate contact including kissing is a risk for COVID-19 transmission, therefore people are still asked to use physical distancing with those outside of their household/extended household.

Public health advice is updated regularly to ensure our interactions with other people are as safe as possible. This advice is subject to change as the situation develops. We will update this information as the guidance changes.

More detailed guidance on COVID-19 can be found on the Scottish Government website. You can also find more detailed guidance on COVID-19 from the NHS on the NHS Inform website.

Common questions about sex and COVID-19

    How does COVID-19 spread?

    You can get COVID-19 infection from another person who has it. Current evidence suggests the virus spreads mainly through secretions released from the nose and mouth (e.g. from sneezing, coughing or speaking) or indirectly through touching contaminated surfaces. The risk of the virus passing is highest when people are close together; therefore the Scottish Government recommends physically distancing 2 metres (6 feet) from people outside your household. The virus can pass from someone with COVID-19 even when they don’t have any symptoms. There is ongoing research about COVID-19 and how it spreads.

    COVID-19 has been found in faeces (poo) and semen (cum) of people who are infected with the virus, although we don’t know yet whether this could pass to other people.


    Can I have sex?

    Yes, within households and extended households you can have sex if:

    you live with your sexual partner, you are both feeling well and you both consent to sex.


    you are in an extended household with your sexual partner, you are both feeling well and you both consent to sex.

    You should avoid sexual contact if:

    you have been advised to self-isolate (because of COVID-19 symptoms or contact with COVID-19)


    you or a sexual partner has a medical condition that may lead to a more severe illness with COVID-19 and have been advised to shield. If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you should self-isolate for 7 days to prevent transmission to other people and visit NHS Inform to arrange a COVID-19 test. If someone you live with or someone you have recently had sex with has symptoms then you need to self-isolate for 14 days and contact NHS Inform for a test if you also develop symptoms. Self-isolating means no physical contact – no hugging, kissing or sex, and you are advised to sleep separately.

    Sex with people outside of your household or extended household

    This is not currently recommended. It is important to make any sexual contact as safe as possible.

    • Condoms can reduce contact with semen (cum) or saliva (spit) especially during oral and anal sex. If you need access to free condoms we can post them to you
    • Avoid kissing as this is likely to increase your risk of getting COVID-19. Rimming (mouth on anus) may also increase the risk of COVID-19.
    • Washing yourself and any sex toys before and after sex is recommended to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. We advise not sharing sex toys.
    • Take usual precautions during sex including contraception or PrEP if these are relevant to you.


    What about contraception and pregnancy?

    If you’re planning to avoid pregnancy, contraceptive options currently available include condoms and the contraceptive pill, even when people are shielding and cannot leave their house. Availability of other types of contraception (including the implant, injection and coil) are now increasing as restrictions lift. Emergency contraception is available at Sandyford if you haven’t been able to access this through your pharmacy. Termination of pregnancy (abortion) services are also available for women who would like to discuss their pregnancy options.

    If you’re thinking about trying for a pregnancy during the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be additional things to consider. Pregnant women have been listed as 'clinically vulnerable' from COVID-19 as a precaution. Research regarding pregnancy and COVID-19 is ongoing. For the latest information about COVID-19 and pregnancy, visit   



    What about STIs and HIV?

    To prevent the transmission of STIs and HIV, condoms are still available during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like a supply of condoms, please use the link here and we will post them to you. PrEP is available at Sandyford for people at higher risk of HIV infection. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, PrEP appointments are being carried out over the phone and then arrangements can be made for testing and dispensing the tablets. You can book a telephone appointment to discuss PrEP here.

    The Brownlee clinic provides HIV treatment and care for people living in the NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde area. Services including supply of medications are continuing during COVID-19 restrictions. If you are living with HIV and need care in Glasgow, please phone the Brownlee on 0141 211 1076.



    If you have been sexually assaulted or raped?

    Archway services for people who have recently been sexually assaulted or raped are open 24 hours a day during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Rape Crisis Scotland is also able to give advice during this time.

    What sexual health services can I access at this time?

    Services currently available at Sandyford


    Rape Crisis Scotland

    You can call 08088 01 03 02 everyday from 6pm to midnight. 

    THT Direct

    You can call 0808 802 1221 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 5pm Monday to Friday.

    LGBT Helpline Scotland

    You can call 0300 123 2523 every Tuesday and Wednesday between 12-9pm call 0300 123 2523 every Tuesday and Wednesday between 12-9pm.