Sex workers in Germany have taken to streets of Hamburg to demonstrate on Saturday evening demanding that the brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closure to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The sex workers claim that with shops restaurants and bars all open again in Germany, where prostitution is legal, they said they are being singled out and deprived of their livelihoods despite not posing a greater health risk.
“The oldest profession needs your help,” read a notice held up by one woman in a brothel window in the Herbertstrasse, which was flooded with red light after being dark since March.
Some protesters wore theatrical masks while one played folk songs on a violin in the street just around the corner from the Reeperbahn, famous for its nightlife.
The Association of Sex Workers, which organised the protest, says the continued closure of licensed premises is forcing some prostitutes onto the streets, which is illegal and a far more dangerous and unhygienic way of working.
It said brothels could easily incorporate pandemic safety measures adopted by other industries, including face masks, ventilating premises and recording visitors’ contact details.
“Prostitution does not carry a greater risk of infection than other close-to-body services, like massages, cosmetics or even dancing or contact sports,” the association said in a statement. “Hygiene is part of the business in prostitution.”