All of Love Island's strict rules for villa stars explained – and biggest rule-breakers exposed

The cast of Love Island standing in front of a large heart which is on fire
-Credit: (Image: ITV)

It turns out even paradise has laws, as the Love Island villa has rules even the most notorious players have to observe. However, that hasn’t stopped some islanders from trying to get around them.

This year's Love Islanders will have to stick to these strict rules for the next two months or risk being booted from the villa:

No getting drunk

Contestants are limited to two drinks a night so that they do not start acting out of character on TV, or end up in a non consensual sexual situation.

No smoking on camera

Original fans of the show might remember earlier seasons with contestants smoking around the villa, but after a slew of Ofcom complaints Love Island producers banned smoking on camera in 2019. Now, contestants must smoke off camera and are not allowed to smoke in groups in order to discourage any drama or conversations from happening off screen.

Joey Essex in the Love Island villa in a white shirt and a black hoodie
Joey Essex is being called Love Island's biggest bombshell ever -Credit:ITV

No self-pleasure

Islanders have to keep their hands off themselves and save themselves for the Hideaway.

No books, phones, or magazines

Despite the iconic phrase “I’ve got a text!” Islanders are only allowed the phones given to them by the show. Any Islanders caught bringing in their own phones are in serious trouble. Same goes for books and magazines and any other form of entertainment. The Islanders are expected to keep themselves entertained by going on dates and getting to know each other in the villa.

Georgia Steel and Callum Jones kissing on Love Island
Georgia and Callum keeping themselves entertained without their phones -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

No nudity

Despite Love Island’s reputation, the villa is technically a public place, so no matter how small their swimwear may be, contestants have to keep them on when out and about.

No inappropriate language or behaviour

With all the talk of bad boys and innuendos, genuinely offensive language and behaviour is taken very seriously on set. Contestants who are racist, homophobic, or engage in sexual harassment are barred from the programme. This behaviour also includes violence and disrespecting the crew.

Winter Love Island contestant Tanya Manhenga revealed last year how Islanders even have to ask to use the toilet. This is because they’re on mic 24/7, and have to warn producers if they’re going to take their mic pack off for a little privacy. They are also allowed to remove their microphone to take a shower, but if they do not put it right back on afterwards, producers will show up and remind them about it.

Every Love Islander is given a rule book which covers the lay of the land, as well as guidance around consent and safe intercourse, so they have no excuse not to follow the rules set out for them by ITV.

Maya Jama in a red dress under a large heart which is on flames
Maya Jama is ready to set people up and lay down the law -Credit:ITV

But, with a whole lot of rules usually comes a whole lot of rule breakers. Here are some of the contestants rumoured to have broken Love Island’s strict protocols.

So far only two contestants have been actually removed from the show for breaking the rules, although others have been chastised and have had viewers call for their elimination.

Sherif Lane in the Love Island booth wearing a white T-shirt
Sherif Lane was removed from the show for bad behaviour but said he learned from the experience -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Malia Arkin was kicked out of Love Island in 2016 after just one day in the villa for starting a fight. Malia initially spilled a drink on Kady McDermott's leg after she went on a date with Scott Thomas. When they started arguing about whether the spill was intentional or not Malia started a physical fight with Kady and was booted from the show.

Sherif Lane was removed from the show in season 5 for accidentally kicking fellow contestant, Molly-Mae, in the groin area and then joking about it using foul language.

Following his removal, Sherif said: “In a case of poor judgement, I broke the villa rules and as a result agreed with the producers that it was best for me to leave the villa. I regret that I didn’t conduct myself in the right way and, as a 20 year old guy, it’s something I know I will take on board and learn from."

Megan Barton Hanson in the Love Island booth wearing a pink bikini
Megan was almost booted from the show for a scandelous photoshoot -Credit:ITV/REX/Shutterstock

Other contestants who have flouted the rules are Rosie Williams and Megan Barton Hanson who broke the no nudity rule by staging a topless photoshoot. And Terry Walsh and Emma-Jane Woodham who tried to avoid being filmed having sex by doing it above the covers. Not only did this not work, but they also broke the nudity clause and ensured that all their fellow contestants had to see them in the act.

Only time will tell whether this year’s Islanders are able to play by the rules in their search for love.

Love Island airs every night except Saturdays at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX