Troubled prostitutes are risking their lives by seeing clients during the coronavirus epidemic.
Dozens of men and women still advertise escort services on Tyneside, despite the government’s urging the public to avoid close contacts.
Some even offered “block offers” at a reduced price in advance of the curbs due to the drop in exchanges.
A charity claims that Covid-19 has actually left some “homeless” sex workers, while the virus has left others struggling to feed their families.
And a North Tyneside woman, who sells sex for as little as £ 40, says the virus will have a “huge impact” on the industry.
“I don’t think he’ll be back to work as usual for at least a year,” said the 26-year-old, who asked not to be named.
She admits that she stopped working, even though she was forced to borrow from friends and family to survive.
However, he says that friends in the industry are still working despite Boris Johnson ordering a block that restricts social contacts.
Some even offer reservations with more than one sex worker, despite banning meetings of more than two people.
He fears that many have no choice to continue working despite the drop in trade, taking safety precautions.
Some sexworking websites have even started advertising their coronavirus precautions – such as deep cleaning before each appointment – along with the services they offer.
“I am making customers take a shower, wash their hands and use a hand sanitizer. I also changed each client’s bedding and the disinfected areas that had been,” said North’s escort Tyneside.
“I was just a lot more cautious and if someone coughed even if I didn’t cough him, I would drive them away.”
Despite this, Dr Raven Bowen of the National Ugly Mugs (NUM) charity has huge concerns about the welfare of prostitutes, not least because they do not qualify for government help.
“NUM is very worried about prostitutes because they have felt the immediate effects of not having a means of making money and have been struggling for weeks now,” he said.
“Unlike other workers, they do not benefit from government strategies and policy changes to support people at work because most adult industries have little or no ability to exercise labor rights and no access to benefits or other rights. .
“Their status as workers is often denied by outside lobbyists with the power to exclude prostitutes from the policy tables. Solving this problem and the issue of recognition is the crux of the prostitute rights movement.
“Any changes that affect the sex workers’ income often also pose a threat to their lives. Covid-19 is no different.”
He said some are adapting to the measures by taking their online business, offering virtual services via webcam – from the security of personal isolation.
However, he believes that these sectors will “become saturated” as others move online, adding: “Prostitutes are a diverse group of individuals, they are parents, students and vary in age, class and identity.
“Some have become homeless today, they need to feed their children and pay their bills today – There is no compulsory sickness allowance for these workers.
“We urge the public to be generous with your resources by donating to charity and offering groups that support members of our communities who have no resources and means to defend their needs.”