ACON, NSW’s leading sexuality and gender diverse and HIV health organisation, has released the following statement from CEO Nicolas Parkhill:
“Today, the NSW Government announced a partial easing of restrictions to allow limited home visitations. As of this Friday 1 May, two adults will be permitted to visit other households. Social distancing (or physical distancing) will still need to be observed during visits, which includes avoiding physical contact with others.
“In light of the ongoing advice around the need for physical distancing, ACON’s recommendation on casual sex remains unchanged. We continue to encourage our communities to take a break from casual sex for now.
“As a health organisation, ACON follows developments very closely and takes guidance from state and federal health agencies. We continue to encourage people in our communities to adhere with official advice and instructions.
“While we are still being asked to continue to observe physical distancing guidelines, being able to visit other people at home will allow us to once again come together and connect with others. We know that for many, the lockdown measures have been challenging, and home visits will help alleviate some of the anxiety, stress and sense of isolation many people have been experiencing.
“During this period, it’s vital that we still practice physical distancing whether that is outside or when visiting someone else’s house. We know our communities are responsible when it comes to looking after their health and the health of others. It is because of your collective efforts that we are seeing a decline in coronavirus cases and restrictions are being eased. It’s important we stay the course and keep up the momentum.
“As we see a gradual lifting of restrictions, we encourage our communities to practise good hygiene and remind everyone that if you are sick or feeling unwell, please stay home, avoid contact with others and seek medical attention.
“Testing eligibility has been expanded in NSW – visit the NSW Government COVID-19 website at www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19 or contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 for further information on testing.
“The voluntary contact-tracing app, COVIDSafe, is also available to download should people decide to participate. We encourage everyone to find out more about the app so you can make an informed decision about using this technology.
“We all need to play our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Together, we will get through this.”
ACON provides confidential counselling to people in our communities seeking support in relation to their mental health and wellbeing. Contact ACON on (02) 9206 2000 or 1800 063 060 or go to acon.org.au.