Dutch Sex workers ready welcome customers

Amsterdam : Dutch brothels including Amsterdam’s famed red light district reopened on Wednesday after a long coronavirus lockdown with sex workers and customers having to observe new rules to prevent nCoV outbreak risk.

Dutch sex workers advised to avoid heavy breathing and kissing to help reduce the risk of transmitting Covid-19.

The Netherlands government ordered all sex clubs closed in mid-march and had originally planned to keep them closed until September, but recently brought the date forward as Covid-19 cases dropped.

Erotic dancers and prostitutes lost their earning source for three and a half months , and generally did not have access to state support during lockdown.

They were surprised when the Dutch government brought forward the date they could reopen from a tentative September 1 to July 1.

“I’m totally booked” for Wednesday, Foxxy, a sex worker and activist at the prostitution Information Center (PIC) in Amsterdam , told AFP, using her professional pseudonym.

“I had a little party when I hear” the government’s June 24 announcement that sex work could restart , said Foxxy, who rents a room in a brothel outside the red light district.

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She said “everybody is sol relived that we can go back to work again because a lot of sex workers didn’t get any benefits from the government. So it’s really nice to be making money again”

She added “before I make an appointment, I have to check with the client if they’re feeling okay and id they don’t have any of the symptoms , or if any of their housemates has symptoms”

“other measures include, disinfection and washing the hands, cleaning the sheets every appointment. Those are the basic needs . But we don’t need to wear any face mask during the play dates, thank God !”

She added that “most of us all avoid face to face , so no kissing”

However, the Netherlands legalised prostitution in 2000 and sex workers have to register with the local chamber of commerce and pay income tax. Around 7500 sex workers now work in Amsterdam.

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The author Kunal