Coronavirus: the brothels re-opened their doors in the netherlands

Coronavirus: les maisons closes rouvrent leurs portes aux Pays-Bas

The brothels of the netherlands, including those of the famous red light District of Amsterdam, have reopened their doors Wednesday after being closed since mid-march because of the pandemic of novel coronavirus.

From the 1st of July, all the “business contact” are permitted again in the netherlands, an authorisation that relates, in particular, sex workers.

“During the containment, a lot of sex workers have had financial problems, so we are very happy to finally be able to resume our work “, declared with the AFP Felicia Anna, Romanian 34-year-old.

The government was previously on a re-opening of brothels on the 1st of September, but the sex workers wanted to be able to re-start their activity earlier.

The netherlands, which have 17 million inhabitants, have adopted an approach of containment ” intelligent “, less strict than that of other european countries.

Restaurants, cinemas, cafés, museums and terraces have been allowed to open on the 1st of June, but within the distance prescribed of 1.5 m between the clients.

“We are all so relieved to be able to return to work because a lot of sex workers have received no support from the government,” said AFP Foxxy, sex worker in Amsterdam.

“We are excited to earn money again,” she adds.

Sex workers, however, must comply with certain rules in order to avoid a contamination with the novel coronavirus, such as check in advance if a client presents symptoms of the COVID-19.

“Before you make your appointment, I have to check with the client if it feels good, and it does not show any symptoms, or if one of the members of the household showing symptoms,” says Foxxy, who works as an independent. She rents a room to a sex club outside of the red light District.

Apply the same rules and guidelines health than usual, she said, such as disinfecting the room, wash hands, change the sheets between each appointment.

“What are the basic necessities. But we are not forced to wear a mask during the appointment, thank God, ” says Foxxy, an activist at the Center of the prostitution information (PIC) in Amsterdam.

She does not expect a decline in activity due to guidelines health strict or to a possible risk of contagion to the COVID-19: for the day of reopening on Wednesday, his agenda shows ” full “.

Prostitution is legal in the netherlands since 2000. Sex workers must be registered with the chamber of commerce and pay tax on the income.

Some 7000 individuals work in this sector in the single city of Amsterdam, where approximately 75% of the prostitutes are from low-income countries, particularly in eastern Europe, according to official figures.

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