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time to 'crack on' How Matt Hancock's hanky-panky with his aide makes us all look like fools

Covid-19 'sex ban' has us all gagging

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Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo (left) outside BBC Broadcasting House Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo (left) outside BBC Broadcasting House Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Former Health Secretary Matt Hancock with adviser Gina Coladangelo (left) outside BBC Broadcasting House Pic: Yui Mok/PA Wire

You really know it's time to 'crack on' when even Matt Hancock is getting more action than you.

The British health secretary apologised on Friday for "breaching social-distancing guidance" in May - and that's certainly one way of describing leaked images of the married politician wearing the face off aide, Gina Coladangelo, at work while the UK continues to battle Covid.

The Conservative MP faced calls to resign after last year slating epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson for breaking lockdown rules to have an affair.

But it's his famous 'hands, face, space' slogan that's come back to haunt him after swiftly being renamed 'hands, face, back to my place' over on Twitter.

Compared to Manhattan City Council candidate Zack Weiner, who was last week seen gagged and wearing nipple clamps in a leaked BDSM video, the scoop involving two middle-aged work colleagues having a sneaky snog in the office might seem fairly vanilla.

After living like an especially pious nun over the past 16 months, however, I'm fuming for my fellow singles across the pond - and everyone else - whom the hypocritical politician warned to "hug carefully", and only outside, just days after being wrapped around his married adviser at Whitehall.

Here in Ireland, as with the United Kingdom, government restrictions resulted in a de facto sex ban for anyone not living with a partner during lockdown, with so much as hugging or kissing those not in your bubble prohibited in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Between Hancock's shenanigans, and the return of Love Island to small screens tomorrow night after a year-and-a-half hiatus, now the bubble has truly burst on abstinence messaging.

In the depths of lockdown loneliness, health bosses here urged young people to consider having phone sex instead of the real thing, because what could be hotter than signing off on a sizzling aural sex romp in timeworn Irish fashion: "Ok, so, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye."

What health chiefs failed to realise is that it was never just about sex for Covid singles.

It's about intimacy - casually holding hands, snuggling on the couch, even just eye contact.

And so Hancock and Coladangelo may as well have been swinging from the chandeliers as simply locking lips while flouting the rules their unwed counterparts were expected to obey.

After more than a year of socially distanced walking dates, the hunger for connection has just seen Tinder report a record-breaking first quarter, with a 15 per cent increase in the daily swipe average of users as singles get ready to bump more than just elbows this 'hot vax summer'.

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With 30-39-year-olds next in line for the jab, the dating app - along with Bumble, Tinder and Hinge - is meanwhile helping users to boost their vax appeal by adding an 'I'm vaccinated' badge to their profile.

Nando's waitress Liberty Poole from Birmingham is just one of those hoping to find love in the time of coronavirus (or maybe just win £50,000) when Love Island returns to Virgin Media One tomorrow night.

The 21 year-old this week told how she "wouldn't rule out" sharing a 'special hug' with one of the hunks in trunks on the reality TV show, and after collectively being mugged off by the passion police, it's advice all #vaxxedandwaxed singles should be taking this summer.

I've even got the perfect post-pandemic chat-up line for when pubs and clubs finally reopen. So... if I told you you had a beautiful antibody, would you hold it against me?

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