Spain’s government are already taking extra efforts to clamp down on the sex industry, with the brothels closed at the end of last month after a worker tested positive for COVID-19. As The Local Spain reports, prostitution was decriminalised in 1995.
Castilla La Mancha shuts down all brothels today, becoming the first Spanish region to bring in a blanket ban to reduce the spread of the novel pathogen.
Taking into account the high risk of the virus spreading in a sex industry, the decision was made timely. Last week after seven women and five men tested positive for corona infection at a brothel in the town of Alcazar de San Juan.
Following Spain’s equality minister’s letter sent to the 17 regional governments on Thursday, all brothels should stop their activity to avoid the deteriorating of heath situation. Irene Montero in her letter was asking the regional authorities to find ways to shut down the hundreds of brothels that remain open.
According to minister Montero, a potential increase of COVID-19 positives would be difficult to track at the brothels. Amid the new wave of infection, that could endanger the health and rights of women working there. Most of them are immigrants or victims of people traffickers, and Montero asked local officials to “seek dignified alternatives” for them.
The United Left party in Castilla La Mancha, which has an abolitionist stance on prostitution, welcomed the decision.
“How many women forced into prostitution are being obliged to put their health at risk and how many of Castilla-La Mancha’s positive cases have been caused by whoremongers?” the party wrote on social media.
Many of the women who work at the clubs as showgirls or prostitutes also lived on the premises. They explain that they need to rent a room for at least 21 days to get a guaranteed spot inside the downstairs club. Coronacrisis has affected their lives a lot. As for the sex workers, everyone scrambled to find a new place to stay amid that endless epidemic times.