German Sex Workers Are Calling for the Government to Allow Brothels to Reopen

BERLIN — German sex workers are calling for the government to allow brothels to reopen.

Prostitution is legal in Germany, but sex work has been banned since mid-March as part of nationwide measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

German states have begun to reopen restaurants, shops, swimming pools and massage parlors. Some lawmakers wrote a letter this month urging state governors to extend the ban on brothels indefinitely, warning that prostitutes and their mostly male customers could become “super spreaders” of the virus.

“The spread would be quickly be introduced from the customers to their partners, families, friends and colleagues. This contact would often be kept secret in tracking the infection,” the lawmakers wrote.

In an open letter to the lawmakers published Tuesday, Germany’s Federal Association of Sex Services objected to the characterization and says it has presented proposals for the safe reopening of brothels and other establishments.


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