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Amsterdam's Red Light District Reopens Following Lockdown

Amsterdam's Red Light District Reopens Following Lockdown

Sex shops were due to reopen in September

Dominic Smithers

Dominic Smithers

Amsterdam's red light district has reopened following months of lockdown.

Brothels in the famous tourist hotspot had been ordered to close in March by the Dutch government due to the pandemic, with sex shops originally planned to reopen in September.

However, officials recently reversed their decision and allowed businesses to start up again earlier than expected.

Felicia Anna, who is the chairwoman of the Red Light United trade union, said lockdown had bought with it a lot of uncertainty for people in the industry.

She said: "During the lockdown, a lot of sex workers ran into financial trouble so we're very happy that we can finally start our job again."

Sex workers are taking extra precautions as the red light district reopens.

And while she was worried that there still may be difficulties due to the lack of tourism, Anna says things are looking up.

Adding: "I did ask some of my colleagues and so far they said that the work is quite ok."

And according to a fellow sex worker Foxxy, she was 'totally booked' on Wednesday (1 July).

Speaking to the Guardian, Foxxy said that she had a party when it was announced that the red light district would be reopening.

However, she stated that she has had to change the way she operates in order to protect her and her clients.

She said: "Before I make an appointment, I have to check with the client if they're feeling ok and if they don't have any of the symptoms, or if any of their housemates has symptoms."

Sex shops were due to reopen in September.

She also cleans the sheets between customers and makes sure that their hands are sanitised.

Foxxy went on: "Those are the basic needs. But we don't need to wear any face masks during the playdates, thank God."

Adding: "Most of us will avoid face to face, so no kissing."

This was echoed by Anna, who said: "After the customer leaves the room, we're going to disinfect everything he might have touched, bed, sink, the toilet if he used the toilet, the doorknobs, everything."

Janet van der Berg, from the Prostitution Information Centre, also said: "There are hand gels and we've thought about what positions are handy - or not - but that's not in an official protocol, you can work that out for yourself."

However, Anna explained that she and her colleagues are very experienced in hygiene and are well prepared for it.

Adding: "We already dealt with much bigger diseases than corona."

Featured Image Credit: PA