On February 24, the Federal Council approved the first gradual openings from March 1. From March 1, all services can be offered again without time restrictions.
The Federal Council treats the erotic trade the same as other businesses open to the public. Some cantons have taken stricter measures over the last few months, closing erotic establishments and banning sex work partially or completely.
On February 24, the Federal Council announced gradual relaxations of the measures to contain the Corona pandemic from March 2021. In the course of the gradual openings and relaxations, ProCoRe - the national network of counseling centers for sex workers - demands the opening of the erotic trade in all cantons. Instead of discriminating against the sex trade, ProCoRe demands equal treatment of personal services with physical contact, including the sex and erotic trade, from all cantons, in accordance with the strategy of the Federal Council.
The Federal Council treats the erotic industry in the same way as other businesses open to the public, but some cantons have taken stricter measures in recent months, closing erotic businesses and banning sex work in part or in full, while allowing hair salons or tattoo and cosmetic studios to remain open. Closing erotic businesses and banning sex work as the only personal service involving physical contact contradicts the principle of equal treatment. Such measures are not based on a qualified factual justification and must be repealed in the course of the gradual relaxations.
The fact is that the Federal Council - which is advised by experts and epidemiologists - has not banned the erotic trade. It is also a fact that other trades offering personal services with body contact - such as hairdressing salons, beauty salons or massage parlors - are allowed. There are no data and information that show that the contagion and spread of Covid-19 is particularly high in the erotic industry.
The unclear legal situation that has arisen due to this cantonal mosaic has led to uncertainty and confusion among sex workers. Many have continued to work illegally out of necessity. From a health perspective, it is much more dangerous to prohibit sex work instead of regulating it and allowing it under protective concepts. If it is made illegal, even specialized agencies can no longer implement their mandate ofhealth prevention. As with other personal services involving physical contact, standard protection measures can be observed and implemented in the erotic industry.
What is required are objective, uniform and proportionate measures, no discrimination and unequal treatment based on hypotheses or moral considerations.