It Turns Out That The Love Island Rules For Contestants Are Actually Really Weird

From only showering at certain times to just two drinks a night, here are all the rules Love Island contestants must follow...

Love Island rules

by Georgia Aspinall and Daisy Hall |
Updated on

Like all viewers it seems, the return of Love Island has us sweetly reminiscing over days gone by. The iconic contestants, biggest shock re-couplings and best bombshell moments are all anyone is talking about.

And it's no wonder, because over the past few years of series, there have been some shocking moments, particularly when it comes to 'rule breakers'.

Remember Sherif Lanre? Of course you do. He was axed from Love Island's 2019 series. His abrupt banishment from the villa was on everyone's minds, and Love Island very clearly proved they were not giving us a clue as to why. 'Sherif has left the villa', narrator Ian Stirling said, before moving swiftly on.

The rumours swirled, but it was all just speculation until it was finally revealed months later that Sherif had been booted off for an incident in which he accidentally kicked Molly-Mae Hague in the groin and then joked about it being a 'c*nt punt'. It was the phrase itself that got him kicked off, with many felt it was unfair for him to be told to leave because of it.

But to be honest, it's not the only wild rule break that gets contestants shouted at, or kicked off, the show. In fact, the rules around staying on Love Island seem to get more unusual the more you read. That's perhaps why everyone is Googling 'Love Island UK rules', particularly 'Love Island alcohol rules', 'Love Island drinking rules' and 'Love Island villa rules'... we all want to know what it's like inside that Mallorcan haven.

Don't believe us? Check out how weird the Love Island rules are for yourself...

What are the rules for being on Love Island?

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Love Island Rules - Grazia

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You have to shower at certain times

When writing for Grazia, Zara McDermott revealed that she was shocked to see Islanders allowed to shower in the morning. 'We could only use the shower each evening,' she said. Gross!

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You cannot talk about your relationship on Saturdays

In a shock revelation on This Morning, 2017 Love Island winner Kem Cetinay revealed the real reason the show doesn't air on Saturdays. 'They give you one day off. You get one day off per week,' he said, 'What happens is, it gives them a day to clean the villa, and you take your mics off, and normally we go to the beach.'

But that wasn't the only startling revelation, he also admitted that producers watch Islanders like a hawk because they're not actually allowed to discuss their relationships. Essentially they can only talk about their home lives and life outside the villa, lest they be scolded for breaking the all important rules.

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You can only have two glasses of wine or beer on a ‘big night’

They get dressed up, put on a full-face of makeup, film awkward dance sequences, and all for two little glasses of wine or beer. According to 2016 Islander Liana Isadora Van-Riel, 'You're allowed one or two drinks a night, either wine or beer, no spirits.' And while contestants will opt for two drinks on a 'big night', most nights they just have a cup of tea. Wild.

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You cannot be naked, even in the bathroom

Since the villa is technically a public space, there can be no nudity whatsoever as it would be considered public indecency. That means even in the bathroom, islanders can never be completely naked in front of each other.

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You cannot read a book or magazine

We knew about the no phone rule, which makes sense given they don't want Islanders reading about themselves online or hearing updates from the outside world, but no books or magazines?! No wonder their conversations become boring to watch, with 2017 contestant Montana Brown admitting the villa is really dull day to day.

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You have to eat at certain times

According to Montana, contestants can make their own breakfast, but lunch and dinner is always catered. In fact, food is brought through a secret door. 'In the larder there's another door that goes out the back that they lock,' she said, 'That's how they deliver food.'

It's long been a question why we never see the Islanders eating, but Montana stated that's when producers come in and charge the contestants microphones.

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You cannot take your mic off ever

One of the most serious rules in the villa: contestants aren't allowed to take their mics off apart from on Saturdays, their off day. If you're caught doing it more than once, you'll be axed from the villa immediately.

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You're not allowed to know the time

You essentially have to become a full Girl Guide in the villa if you want to know the time, telling it through the sun, because Islanders aren't allowed to know themselves and all of their phones are set to different times.

'You never know what the time is,' Montana told The Independent, 'They'll wake you up by putting the lights on or a voiceover will say, "Islanders, it's time to get up".'

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You can't have unprotected sex

Contestants have to declare before going on the show if they have any sexually transmitted infections. With rumours Kem and Amber got in trouble for having unprotected sex, this rule seems to be even more integral now.

Discussions around sex on Love Island have snowballed massively as the seasons become more and more popular each year. While early seasons saw Islanders getting busy almost every night, in the same room with scenes often aired every episode, sex has become much more taboo - when it comes to airing it at least. In 2018, producers decided to stop airing sex scenes. Given the slut-shaming many female contestants receive upon doing the completely natural act it's unsurprising.

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You have to go for scheduled chats

They must be juicy. According to Montana, when she and fellow 2017 contestant Camilla were talking about hymns they like, producers intercepted and told them to spice it up ('That's not interesting', they said). In fact, producers will also intervene to ensure certain people talk, but the conversation itself is not necessarily staged. 'They might be like, "Camilla, pull Montana aside and ask how she's feeling about Alex"', Montana admitted.

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You're not allowed to get waxes

It's long been wondered how the contestants keep up with their beauty routines in the villa, with not a bumpy bikini line or stubbly chest in sight. Do contestants have waxers brought in to the villa? Absolutely not, according to Montana. While the women in her season requested wax strips to do it themselves, they 'all had bruising' and so resorted to shaving.

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You absolutely cannot have drunken sex

A huge villa no-no, drunken sex is completely off the cards for Love Island contestants. Given that they're allowed two wines or beers on big nights and most of them sip on tea all night, we're not sure that's a huge risk, to be honest.

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No inappropriate language or behaviour

One of the actually non-weird rules is that contestants are completely prohibited from 'inappropriate language or behaviour'. While it's quite a broad - and subjective - phrase, the rulebook applies it to racial slurs, homophobia and aggressive language. Plus, sexual harassment and physical violence is included in this rule.

Other than Sherif, the only villa removal we've seen because of rule-breaking was when Malia Arkian punched Kady McDermott back in season two, so it's clearly a big one.

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You cannot smoke in the villa, even in the garden

Love Island stopped showing scenes where contestants were smoking in 2018 after complaints they were all partaking in the habit too much. Now, Islanders aren't allowed to smoke on the premises at all, even in the garden.

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Not long after series ten launched, one fan took to Twitter to question the lack of 'morning debriefings' - aka when the girls and boys separate to discuss the evening before. They fill each other in on any drama and updates on their love lives.

'The girls don’t do “morning breakdowns/debriefings" - I thought this was written in the villa rules. It’s weird,' the eagle-eyed viewer wrote.

Former Love Islander Jay Younger previously weighed in on the 'mandatory morning debriefs', admitting he 'hated them'. When quizzed about whether the producers ask you to sit somewhere and say one by one how your life is going, he answered 'yes'.

Then last August, 2021 Casa Amor bombshell Amy Day claimed that ITV bosses told the Islanders from the famous second villa to have 'separate' chats from the original cast on entering the main abode. She said, 'It was upsetting because the main girls were so welcoming and nice but we were kind of told to separate. It's just produced that way.'

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In January 2023, ahead of the second winter Love Island, ITV announced that any contestant entering the villa would have to adhere to a new rule: that their social media accounts remain inactive during their time on the show.

The new guideline is understood to have been put in place to 'protect both the Islanders and their families from the adverse effects of social media’.

It is a shake-up from previous series, where family members and friends would be able to run the Islanders' accounts on their behalf.

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You have to keep the rule book in your possession

All of these rules must not only be obeyed at all times, but contestants must also keep the rule book in their possession too - just in case they forget any of them.

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