SEX WORK & COVID-19: CURRENT RESTRICTIONS

UPDATED 28 SEPTEMBER 2021

METROPOLITAN MELBOURNE

 

Under the current lockdown restrictions, you can only leave your home for one of the following six reasons:
​ 

  • shopping for necessary goods and services

  • caregiving or compassionate reasons, including medical care or to get a COVID-19 test

  • authorised work (with a permit) or permitted education

  • exercise (once a day for up to 4 hours, and that 4 hours includes any time spent outdoors socialising in limited groups)

  • outdoor social interaction in limited groups (once a day for up to 4 hours, and that 4 hours includes any time spent on exercise)

  • to get a COVID-19 vaccination (provided the distance travelled, and the time taken is no more than is absolutely necessary)

You must stay within 10km of your home for shopping and exercise. This limit does not apply to permitted work or education, when giving or receiving care, or visiting an intimate partner or your single social bubble buddy.

Face masks are compulsory indoors and outdoors when you leave your home unless an exemption applies.

A stay-at-home curfew is in place for Metropolitan Melbourne between 9:00pm and 5:00am

 


 

REGIONAL VICTORIA 

There are no restrictions on the reasons to leave home but staying COVIDSafe remains important

Residents of regional Victoria must not travel to metropolitan Melbourne other than for permitted reasons. These include:

  • for authorised work or permitted education

  • to visit an intimate partner

  • for care and compassionate reasons, including permitted child minding

  • to access necessary goods and services provided they are from the facility that is closest to where you live;

 

 


In Person Sex Work 
 

Metropolitan Melbourne

During lockdown, you can only leave your home for work if it is listed as authorised work. 

In-person sex work, including outcall-based escort and private work, is NOT listed as authorised work.

 

Brothels and strip clubs are required to close.
 

All other existing sex work related laws remain in place.

Regional Victoria

Brothels and strip clubs are required to remain closed.

For other questions about sex work and restrictions in Regional VIC, please call or txt 0414 275 959 or email info@vixencollective.org 

Vixen Collective will remain in close communication with the Government and other bodies and will provide any updates as they come to hand. 

All other existing sex work related laws remain in place.


 

Police
 

If you have contact with the police regarding COVID-19 and/or sex work, or have been fined or issued with an infringement notice, contact Vixen Collective at info@vixencollective.org or 0414 275 959. 

 

We can offer information, advocacy, support around police interactions, direct referrals to free and confidential legal advice, and support accessing it.


Harm Reduction
 

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 you should self-isolate and get tested. If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, you can call the National Coronavirus 24hr Helpline for information and advice on 1800 020 080. If you require translating services, call 131 450.

 

If you are able to take time off from in-person work, you should. However, we recognise some sex workers are not in a position to do this. If you do in-person sex work at this time, you should consider your screening, work practices, what services you provide, and enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures.

 

Sex workers responded rapidly to COVID-19 from the early stages of the pandemic, with many of us adapting our work practices well before restrictions were introduced. Many sex workers moved to non contact forms of sex work or other income sources, while others practiced enhanced screening measures, increased use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols.

 

Please see this link for extensive information on COVID-19 harm reduction and sex work.  https://redbook.scarletalliance.org.au/covid-19/


For the Scarlet Alliance vaccination guide, see https://scarletalliance.org.au/library/covid19-vaccine-guide

For Disaster Payment information see: Scarlet Alliance COVID-19 Disaster Payment Resource for Sex Workers

 

Sex Workers' Rights and COVID-19 
 


Throughout the pandemic, VIC sex workers have experienced a pattern of inconsistent messaging about COVID-19 restrictions and enforcement from different parts of government and police. Vixen Collective is determined to ensure this is not repeated and that consistent and accessible information is available to sex workers going forward.

Vixen Collective continues to advocate for equitable and evidence based treatment of sex workers, and for government to work in partnership with sex workers as we respond to COVID-19 alongside other Victorian workers.  Above all, we continue as always to advocate fiercely for the rights of all sex workers in Victoria.

 

Vixen Collective calls for access to adequate financial support and emergency relief for all sex workers, further resourcing for peer-education and harm reduction, access to housing and rental relief and essential support services for all sex workers, and the full decriminalisation of all forms of sex work in Victoria

 

We will continue to provide updates on restrictions, harm reduction, and emergency relief - please follow us on social media to stay up to date.

Resources
 

Emergency Financial Relief:

The Scarlet Alliance Emergency Relief Fund is open to sex workers in Australia affected by lockdown.
Applications are available in English, Thai, Korean and Chinese.
https://chuffed.org/project/sex-worker-support


Scarlet Alliance COVID-19 Disaster Payment Resource for Sex Workers



Covid-19 & Fines  - Legal Aid Victoria: 

 

https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/covid-19-coronavirus/fines

 

Police powers: your rights in Victoria

 

See pages 4 - 5 for information on your rights and obligations when questioned by police. 

https://www.legalaid.vic.gov.au/find-legal-answers/free-publications-and-resources/police-powers-your-rights-in-victoria

 

See our Resources page for more, or contact us via email or our peer line.