Evening Standard: Sex work industry in crisis as punters socially distance
Red-light districts in Soho and Mayfair’s Shepherd Market are facing financial crises following the pandemic, an action group for sex workers has told The Londoner.
Laura Watson of the English Collective of Prostitutes said: “Some places have had to shut because they can’t make enough money. Clients just weren’t coming in.”
In Soho “three flats in one house have closed down” while another, which “survived many police raids and many attempts to shut it” has been forced to close by Covid, she said.
Watson explained that some lower rental agreements made with landlords before the pandemic are now coming to an end, leading to eviction warnings.
She added that rule changes have lead to confusion, including over whether they counted as hospitality for the 10pm curfew — it was decided they didn’t. “We did hear of people getting in trouble for having sex outside your own household,” she said.