Amsterdam’s Red Light District Might Soon Be Replaced By ‘Sexy Hotels

by Sanjana Shenoy
Amsterdam’s Red Light District Might Soon Be Replaced By ‘Sexy Hotels

Dutch sex workers resumed work on July 1 in the Netherlands after a ban on red-light district tours in Amsterdam. But the workers received advise to avoid panting and kissing to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, Amsterdam’s Red Light District might soon get replaced with ‘prostitution hotels’ or sexy hotels. The city’s sex workers might have to relocate to cut down mass tourism in the city centre.

Amsterdam Might Replace Red Light District With Prostitution Hotels Outside The City

As Amsterdam gave sex workers the green signal to resume work, the city rethinks its post-pandemic image. Officials wish to cut back on mass tourism in the Red Light District. Residents of the area blame the Red Light District as the cause for noise, littering and disorderly behaviour in the city. According to CNN, the city’s sex workers have to relocate to a prostitution hotel situated outside the city centre.

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Martijn Badir, a policy economist states to CNN“We are not against tourism, but the city council should do more to create a better balance between local residents and tourists and (think) about what type of image we want to portray as a city after this crisis.” He started a petition urging city officials to restrict the annual tourist stay to 12 million. The petition also calls for city officials to improve the quality of living for Amsterdam residents by reducing tourism. This is signed by 30,000 Amsterdam residents.

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As per CNN, Mayor Femke Halsema considered a Red Light District reform before the pandemic. She informed in May that the crisis highlighted the “urgency to think about the city centre of the future.” New rules were imposed prohibiting tour guides from stopping in front of windows. Tourists were also banned from photographing sex workers. Other possible plans include limiting the brothel windows. And also shifting sex workers to a new location.

Unsurprisingly, many of Amsterdam’s sex workers have issues with these new changes. One sex workers told CNN “That would be extremely dangerous. When you leave your shift at 5 a.m., the robbers will be lining up. Here everyone can see us. That’s what makes our jobs safe.” The sex workers also point out that relocating them outside the city centre shall reduce their earning potential.

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Sex Workers In Netherlands Resume Work With Social Distancing Rules

Similarly, in the Netherlands too, sex workers can resume work and sex districts have reopened. However, the workers need to adhere to certain guidelines, several of which are stricter than ‘normal’ social distancing rules. Reuters reports that bars, karaoke venues and massage parlours are within the latest category of companies allowed to reopen with conditions.

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Red Light District Workers Must Refrain From Kissing And Heavy Breathing To Reduce Risk Of COVID-19

Debbie Mensink, a public health advisor in Amsterdam states that even with social distancing measures sex workers are still prone to coronavirus dangers. This is in comparison to most other professions. She states “There is a heightened risk. Sex workers already have a heightened health risk due to their line of work… because people get so close to each other.”

Mensink also informs “We advise against literally getting in each others’ faces, where you can breathe in each others’ warm breath.” She adds “We also advise against kissing because saliva carries the virus and you could transfer it that way.” In this industry as well, like many other industries new social distancing measures is the way to the future. And interestingly research says that millenials prefer to travel over sex. If this doesn’t blow your mind, then wonder what will!