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Switzerland to Sex Workers: You'll Need to Social Distance

Nation gives OK to prostitutes but still prohibits judo, boxing, wrestling, ballroom dancing
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2020 10:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – If you're a sex worker in Switzerland, you'll soon be back in business. If you're a judo, ballroom dancing, or boxing aficionado, you're going to have to wait a little longer. Bloomberg reports that the country's legal prostitution industry will be permitted to reopen on June 6, along with movie theaters, public swimming pools, and nightclubs. What are still forbidden for the indefinite future: ballroom dancing, as well as such sports as judo, wrestling, and boxing, which involve "close and constant" physical contact. Swiss Health Minister Alain Berset says he knows that the OK for the country's 20,000 sex workers may seem "bizarre" while other traditionally less-intimate activities are still on lockdown, but he thinks it actually could've taken place earlier than it has. "There are certainly personal contacts, but a concept of protection seems possible," he said at a presser earlier this week.

Forbes reports that ProKoRe, the country's prostitution industry group, has issued guidance on social distancing during working hours, including airing out the room and washing sheets after each visit, keeping "a distance of at least one forearm between the heads," and following safety measures "if the service takes place in the vehicle," including keeping said vehicle well ventilated and taking down its registration number. Per the Local, ProKoRe is offering a list of acceptable sexual positions that keep faces from getting too close and droplets from being transmitted. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands sex workers have been told they won't be back on the job until at least September. (Read more Switzerland stories.)

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