Posted on: June 16, 2020
Latest Amsterdam Red Light District update: From 1 July 2020, sex workers will be allowed to work in the Netherlands again. That was announced by the Prime Minister Rutte on 23 June 2020. That means that all sex shows in Amsterdam, all window brothels, strip clubs, private houses and all other erotically related companies can open again.
This Amsterdam Red Light District update gives a picture of the current situation in the most famous area of the Netherlands. Normally 3.1 million people visit the Red Light District every year (source). The Red Light District relies on tourism, from Dutch and foreign people. The tourism sector offers 69.424 jobs (source) and its good for the Amsterdam economy. Normally, 1 out 9 jobs in Amsterdam are in tourism. Amsterdam has about 18 million visitors per year who they spent 6.3 billion euros, creating about 2.7 billion euros in added value. (Dutch resource)
Amsterdam, Red Light District, 2 June 2020. A few tourists enter the city.
But since the corona crisis – mid-March 2020 – it has been pretty quiet in Amsterdam. Also in the Red Light District. It’s very special to see! After all, it hardly happens that the heart of Amsterdam isn’t so lively. Many companies performed maintenance during the corona crisis. Café and restaurant owners have had their business repainted so that it looks brand-new when tourists return.
Amsterdam, 29 april 2020. Maintenance at Cafe The Old Sailor.
Since June 1, cafes, restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and museums in the Netherlands are open again. Many entrepreneurs couldn’t wait to restart their business. They’re very happy that they are allowed to do business again. There are already some people sitting on the terraces, some restaurants have visitors and Amsterdam is slowly becoming more lively again. But there are also many empty companies and entrepreneurs who look around and wonder if they see tourists.
Amsterdam, Warmoesstraat. Two employees get ready for business.
Currently, all restaurants, bars and cafes in the Netherlands may not have more than 30 people inside. Including staff. Restaurants often also require reservations and the staff should ask their guests specific questions. They are asked whether they are healthy and whether they come from 1 household. These measures makes it difficult for some entrepreneurs in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam’s Red Light District, 8 June 2020. Coffeeshop The Bulldog is emptier than usual.
Coffeeshops in Amsterdam were open most of the time during the corona crisis. Mainly only for take-away, but nowadays customers can also sit inside and outside on the terraces.
Amsterdam Red Light District, 12 June 2020. We hosted a tour again!
Guided tours in Amsterdam and Red Light District tours are allowed and can be booked again. In Amsterdam’s city centre guided tours can not have more than 15 persons (excluding guide) in a tour. Across the country and therefore also during the tours, it is recommended to keep 1.5 meters apart. People may decide themselves to wear a face mask. This is not mandatory though. Face masks are currently only mandatory in public transport.
The street markets in Amsterdam are also open. Including the Albert Cuyp market, the flower market and the market on the Nieuwmarkt.
Amsterdam, Oudekerksplein, 2 June 2020. Two tourists in love in front of the church.
The Oude Kerk Amsterdam (Old Church) in the middle of the Red Light District is also open again.
The people in Amsterdam’s Red Light District want the visitors to return so that they can earn some money again. And, of course, they also miss the vibrancy! They miss the “gezelligheid“. It can be noted that people hope that the situation will improve quickly and that measures can be reduced. The working people in Amsterdam’s Red Light District no longer want support from the government, but simply want to earn money. They want the visitors to come back.
All sex related companies in the Netherlands have to stay closed until 1 September 2020. That includes sex shows, (window) brothels, escort companies, private houses, lap dance bars, etcetera. Amsterdam’s Red Light District has 288 windows, dozens of sex shows (like Casa Rosso, 5D Porn Cinema, Peep Show, Moulin Rouge, etc) that are all closed at the moment.
Amsterdam, Red Light District, 12 June 2020. Closed window brothels.
Sex workers in the Netherlands feel very disadvantaged. They may only start working again from 1 September 2020. The Dutch government foresees major risks in these sex-related professions, which is why it has been decided that sex workers may not work yet. The sex workers disagree with this decision and believe that they can work safely. They think it is unfair that other contact professions (such as hairdressers and masseurs) are allowed to work, but they are not. They also indicate that they are used to dealing with risks and that they always take measures to deal with this.
Sex worker campaign: Working at home? I can not work anywhere. Sex workers have the right on equal treatment and support during the crisis! Stop the stigma.
25% of all sex workers in Amsterdam worked illegally during the corona-crisis. Others switch their way of working and started working through internet – via webcam sex for example. A campaign has been launched in Amsterdam Red Light District, in which sex workers are asking for the same rights as others and to be allowed to start earlier than 1 September 2020.
Furthermore, all sports clubs in the Netherlands may open again on July 1, 2020.
Amsterdam, Nieuwmarkt. When the sun is out, terraces are filled.
The number of visitors in Amsterdam strongly depends on the day. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are generally the quietest, with Wednesday always being the quietest day of the week. And Thursday through Sunday is a bit busier, with Saturdays and Sundays being the busiest days of the week. Many Dutch tourists visit the capital during the weekends. Last weekend it was also a bit busier in Amsterdam. Many locals and German tourists enjoyed the beautiful weather.
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