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Single men and women in the Netherlands have been advised to find a sex buddy for those seeking intimacy during the coronavirus lockdown.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) said that single people should come to an agreement with one other person if they are seeking intimacy. In the guidance issued on May 14, RIVM said that sex with a regular partner is possible because they are very close and it is practically impossible to avoid each other physically.

The guidance comes after critics said there was no sex advice for singles, BBC reports.

RIVM said “it makes sense that as a single [person] you also want to have physical contact” during the pandemic. However, precautions should be taken to minimise the risk of coronavirus exposure, should single people choose to engage in sexual contact.

“Discuss how best to do this together,” the RIVM guidance says.

“For example, meet with the same person to have physical or sexual contact (for example, a cuddle buddy or ‘sex buddy’), provided you are free of illness.

“Make good arrangements with this person about how many other people you both see. The more people you see, the greater the chance of (spreading) the coronavirus.”

The RIVM has also issued advice for people whose long-term partners suspect they have contracted the coronavirus.

“Don’t have sex with your partner if they have been isolated because of (suspected) coronavirus infection,” it says.

“Sex with yourself or with others at a distance is possible,” it adds, suggesting “erotic stories” and “masturbating together” as possible solutions.

The Netherlands has been on what the government describes as an “intelligent lockdown” since 23 March, allowing up to three visitors into homes on the strict condition that they keep their distance.

On Monday, the Netherlands began the first stage of a five-phase lockdown exit plan. As part of the first phase, libraries, hairdressers, nail bars, beauticians, massage salons and places providing occupational therapy were allowed to reopen from 11 May.

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