SEX WORK AND COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS: LAST STEP
UPDATED 11 DECEMBER 2020
BROTHELS AND STRIP CLUBS
Victoria has moved to COVIDSafe Summer restrictions as of Sunday, 6 December 2020 11.59pm.
Can move to a cap of 100 people
Must maintain density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm
Seated service requirement has been removed.
Patron caps have been removed.
Must maintain density quotient of 1 person per 4sqm
All Victorian workplaces, including sex industry workplaces, must follow the six principles of COVIDSafe workplaces.
Brothel & venue owners/operators are responsible for developing the workplace's COVIDSafe Plan
Businesses are not required to submit their plan to the government.
Under eased COVIDSafe Summer restrictions as of Sunday, 6 December 2020 11.59pm:
Wearing a face mask is only mandatory on public transport, while in taxis or ride share vehicles, or when going to large retail venues, including shopping centres, supermarkets and department stores.
You must carry a face mask with you when you leave home.
Masks are therefore no longer compulsory inside brothels and strip clubs. However, wearing a face mask is strongly encouraged indoors and outdoors when you can’t keep 1.5 metres distance from other people.
More questions about sex work and masks? Please see below for harm reduction info or contact Vixen Collective for more information.
PRIVATE WORK & ESCORTING
As of 11.59pm October 27th 2020 ('Third Step'), private sex work and escorting is permitted in all parts of Victoria including Melbourne.
Private sex workers can work. Escort agencies can operate.
All other existing laws concerning sex work in Victoria still apply.
See below for more information on client screening and other harm reduction measures.
Questions? Please contact Vixen Collective for more information about COVIDSafe principles and your sex work
SEX WORK, HARM REDUCTION & COVID-19
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.
Sex workers are public health leaders and educators in our communities. We 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.
If you are doing in-person sex work at this time, you should consider your client screening, what services you provide, and enhanced hygiene and cleaning measures.
Please see this link for extensive information on COVID-19 harm reduction and sex work including hygiene measures on outcalls, client screening, and work practices: https://redbook.scarletalliance.org.au/covid-19/
Vixen Collective understands that information about sex work under current restrictions has been communicated to the Sex Industry Coordination Unit within in Victoria Police (VicPol). Vixen Collective is in regular contact with VicPol regarding sex work and the VIC Roadmap.
NB: COVID-19 restrictions are being enforced by wider Victoria Police. As always, we cannot predict precisely how individual officers will enforce or interpret the restrictions. Throughout the VIC lockdowns, we have seen high levels of active policing of COVID-19 restrictions.
We encourage sex workers to be aware of this when making choices about their work.
Have you had contact with police? Please contact Vixen Collective for support, advocacy, information, and access to free legal advice.
WHAT IS VIXEN COLLECTIVE DOING?
As the recognised representative body for sex workers in Victoria, Vixen Collective is in regular communication with DHHS and other government departments including CAV, as well as the Sex Industry Coordination Unit in Victoria Police.
We are continuing to work to ensure sex workers have the information they need to make decisions about their work, health and safety.
We are continuing to advocate in public and to government to ensure COVID directions and enforcement relating to sex work is equitable, fair and evidence-based.
We are continuing to carefully verify all legal information before sharing it.
Vixen Collective is aware that the pattern of unclear and inconsistent messaging from government about COVID-19 restrictions and enforcement has caused confusion and stress for sex workers throughout the pandemic. Vixen Collective remains in ongoing contact with government and police to continue to address this problem going forward.
Vixen Collective also 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 info sessions, return to work, harm reduction, community meetings and emergency relief - follow us on social media to stay up to date!
Covid-19 & Fines - Legal Aid Victoria:
Free Legal Advice on Covid-19 Policing:
People anywhere in Victoria stopped and questioned by police, or fined or charged under COVID-19 laws can access Fitzroy Legal Service for free legal advice and information.
Call 0434 136 501 or visit https://www.fitzroy-legal.org.au
Police powers: your rights in Victoria
Scarlet Alliance Emergency Support for Sex Workers
This fund will primarily focus on supporting sex workers who have not yet been able to return to work, particularly where COVID-19 restrictions remain in place and where sex workers are subject to penalties and fines. If you are a sex worker who needs financial relief please complete the self assessment tool via the links at the bottom of the page.
Please consider donating if you have cash to spare, and/or share in your networks. All funds go directly to sex workers in need!
You can find a more extensive list of resources by clicking here.