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Matt Hancock just threw a big bucket of cold water on anyone wanting to hook up with a new sexual partner anytime soon

Emma Powys Maurice May 12, 2020
Matt Hancock

Matt Hancock has denied claims that his coronavirus message is "confusing" (Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty)

As if love in the time of coronavirus wasn’t hard enough, Matt Hancock has just added another hurdle: no ‘hugging’ new friends until a vaccine has been developed.

The UK health secretary was asked for clarification on the government’s latest lockdown guidance, which has been widely condemned as confusing and vague.

He said he understands the “yearning” faced by couples living apart, and raised the prospect of households joining to form a bigger “bubble” – a strategy which has not yet been approved by experts.

Asked for an estimate of when people would be able to hug someone they have just met, Matt Hancock said: “Well, I wouldn’t recommend it.”

When pressed for a timetable, he replied: “Well really, to get to the point where this is totally sorted, it’s when we have a treatment or a vaccine.

“Those developing a vaccine think that they should have it on stream for this autumn.”

Unfortunately for the nation’s singletons, by Hancock’s logic this would mean that you also can’t have sex with new friends until a vaccine or treatment is found.

It’s not clear whether existing bootycalls are exempt from this rule, but just in case it may be prudent not to delete your last hookup from your contacts just yet.

If taken at face value, Hancock’s advice would mean that – in a tragic twist worthy of 2020 – your last lay could be your lifeline.

Worse still, his optimistic assurance that the vaccine should be “on stream” for autumn doesn’t actually mean that the treatment will be publicly available at this time.

Most experts think a vaccine is likely to become available by mid-2021, about 12-18 months after the new virus first emerged.

And Boris Johnson said last night that it’s possible that a safe and effective vaccine may never be found – which could potentially have a devastating impact on hookup culture.

PinkNews has contacted the department of health seeking clarification on Hancock’s advice, but had not received a response at the time of publication.

More: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Matt Hancock, Sex

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