Brothels call for end to bonk ban
Brothels are offering to literally open their windows, force clients to use the Covidsafe app, and ban group sex in order to get back to work.
Eighteen Sydney brothel owners have joined together calling on the state government to lift the "unconscionable" COVID-19 bonk ban which they say is unfairly crippling the industry.
In a letter to NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and health bureaucrats, the city's brothels are begging for a trial period to show they are just as safe as dentists, physiotherapists and beauticians.
Suburbs where the venues operate include Edgecliff, Parramatta, Guildford, Rydalmere, Campbelltown, Kingsford, Caringbah and Chatswood.
The federal government recommends brothels and strip clubs remain closed indefinitely, however the state government has the power to reopen the venues.
New Zealand and the Northern Territory have reopened their industries with restrictions.
Group spokeswoman Julie Bates said brothel closures mean clients "may now be seeking intimate connections in a less safe manner and environments through Tinder hook-ups and the like".
"If the government deemed it appropriate to allow a trial period for reopening, we believe our industry would understand that if an infection with COVID-19 was traced to an individual at that sex services premises, that venue would be required to cease trading while investigations were in train as in any other industry or workplace including as happens in schools," Ms Bates, principal of Urban Realists Planning & Health Consultants, said.
BROTHELS LEADING CALL TO REOPEN
Ma Belle Cheri - Parramatta
Bliss - Wooloomooloo
Kings Court - Broadway
Golden Honey - Guildford
The Kastle - Chippendale
City Touch - Sydney
Pink Lady - Greenacre
La Petite Aroma - Chatswood
City Rose - Kingsford
Vixens 2271 - Marrickville
19 Lipsticks - Rydalmere
Cuties Escorts - Campbelltown and Narellan
Springhouse - Marrickville
Royal Asians - Rydalmere
Gateway Club - Petersham
Miss Heavens - Artarmon
Secrets of Sydney - Caringbah
"Our mitigation measures and reopening safety plans range from limiting the number of people on the premises at any one time, isolation of clients on arrival and questioning their recent travel and health status, separate rooms for service providers, cleaning processes and hygiene requirement for both clients and service providers, training of all personnel, information sharing with clients, limited service time and specific services to be allowed, attention to airflow by opening windows and limiting airconditioning through to record keeping for contact tracing purposes if needed.
"And, of course, maintain usual safe practices for the prevention of STIs including HIV."
There are about 1000 female sex workers employed in Sydney brothels in any one week, according to the Kirby Institute at UNSW, and about 3174 over any 12 month period.
Sydney is home to at least 100 legal brothels.
Kate, who owns Ma Belle Cheri in Clyde, said she is aware of brothels that have folded because of the lockdown and expects others to follow suit unless businesses can reopen.
"Our industry has an excellent track record over 30-plus years responding to the HIV pandemic as partners in prevention with no recorded cases of HIV from sex worker to client," she said.
"We are a legitimate industry and contribute to the state's revenue source and provide significant employment and opportunities for people to earn income - including receptionists, shift managers, cleaners and service providers.
"There is also the multifaceted role we play for our clients who come from a cross-section of society including those living with a disability whose needs may not always be readily found outside of our industry."
A NSW Health spokesman said: "Under the current Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order (No 2) 2020 brothels and strip clubs must close".
"The requirements in the order are continually being reviewed and revised where appropriate after considering health advice," a spokesman said.
Originally published as Eighteen Sydney brothels call for end to bonk ban