A Dutch prostitute has set up a crowdfunding page after the coronavirus outbreak forced Amsterdam to shut its Red Light District.
The Netherlands' government ordered the closure of sex clubs in the capital on Sunday, where mainly female prostitutes pose in lingerie behind red-lit windows.
Its confirmed coronavirus cases rose to nearly 1,500 yesterday, with 24 deaths.
Prostitution is legal and regulated in Amsterdam and sex workers are self-employed taxpayers, hiring their own windows on a nightly basis.
Hella Dee – the pseudonym of a prostitute who is a member of PROUD, the Dutch union for sex workers – has set up a funding appeal.
She says the closures have impacted Dutch sex workers and their families, with other prostitutes globally likely to be hit by similar moves.
She said the project – which had raised over 4,400 Euros by late Monday – would support people by providing handouts of 40 euros for emergency supplies.
"These workers don't have a fixed income, they don't receive paid sick leave and lack savings to fall back on to cover basics like food shopping or medicine," Dee wrote on the campaign website.
"This also has consequences for their safety because they may feel forced to take more risks with their work under current circumstances," added Dee.
UNAIDS has estimated that there were about 25,000 mainly female sex workers in Amsterdam although cautioned that the number could be higher with many operating in secret.
Campaigners working with sex workers said the closure of strip clubs and brothels until at least April 6 would leave many women with no income.
"It's too early to estimate the exact impact," Rodney Haan, adviser on prostitution and trafficking at the Dutch Centre for Crime Prevention and Safety, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
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"But it's clear that some sex workers are in a more vulnerable financial situation than others.”
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Brits to avoid pubs, clubs and theatres as the outbreak tears through Europe.
He said “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact and to stop all non-essential travel” as he urged people to work from home "where they possibly can".
He also added that anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days.
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The PM announced the government will no longer be supporting mass gatherings with emergency workers.
Brits were also told to avoid any non-essential social contact and to shield the "most vulnerable" for 12 weeks.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, the PM said: "We need people to start working from home where they possibly can.
"And you should avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues."
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has also said53 people in the UK have now died after testing positive for the coronavirus.
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