'Explosion' of cheating this spring as vaccinations ramp up, survey predicts

A new survey suggests there will be a surge in affairs this spring after large swathes of the UK are vaccinated. (Getty Images)
A survey has suggested there will be a surge in affairs this spring after large swathes of the UK are vaccinated. (Getty Images)

While many will simply be glad to see friends for a pint, new research suggests that some are keen to take socialising one step further when restrictions are loosened this spring.

A survey suggests there will be an "explosion" of cheating come April, once large swathes of the UK population have been vaccinated.

The findings from affairs website Illicit Encounters, which asked 2,000 users how their dating lives will change as the pandemic eases, showed 74% were planning to start sleeping around within months.

They believe that the country's speedy vaccination effort – the government today announced all UK adults will be offered a vaccine by 31 July – was giving would-be cheaters peace of mind when it came to breaking social distancing.

Read more: A day in the life of a sex therapist in lockdown

Indeed, the survey discovered 86% of users felt "more relaxed" about having extra-marital liaisons, knowing that many will soon have a layer of protection from the virus.

However, the research revealed that some haven't even waited for the vaccines to take effect properly before getting intimate with someone outside their bubble.

A third of those who took part admitted already breaking lockdown for sex – including 44% of under-30s who said they'd broken the rules for a steamy encounter.

The top five reasons for such illegal trysts included missing physical intimacy, the excitement of meeting someone new, and alcohol causing them to let their guard down.

Read more: TikTok fans catapult self-help book that empowers women to top of bestseller list after 20 years

What's more, having cyber sex and wanting to meet in person, and going for a walk and ending up having sex, were other excuses.

Since the beginning of the third lockdown in January, people cannot meet indoors socially with one another unless they live with them or they are part of their support bubble.

This means that having sex with new partners – and most people, for that matter – is essentially forbidden right now.

In August, the sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust advised people intent on a hook-up to avoid kissing, wear a face covering and stick to positions that aren't face-to-face.

According to the BBC, the charity recommended: "Your best sexual partner during the COVID-19 pandemic is yourself or someone within your household and you should follow the government guidelines about social distancing, hand washing and face coverings."

It added that masturbation, sex toys and online sex were the safest options, but if you were meeting with those outside your household – as was permitted at the time – it was crucial to limit the number of partners.