New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective | New Zealand Sex Workers' Collective
Congratulations Aotearoa!

Congratulations Aotearoa, there are no cases of Covid 19, we are now at Level 1 and all restrictions on daily life are lifted! We are grateful that sex workers were trusted to work in Level 2 and that we’ve been part of the solution to eliminate Covid 19.

 

As per government advice, we strongly encourage sex workers to keep good personal records so that any cases that might pop up can be easily identified and isolated.

 

Because sex work is a close contact job we also encourage sex workers to keep up their extra vigilant practices like staying out of the moist breath zone where possible and using appropriate anti viral cleaning products.

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Level 2 Sex work can re-open: Guidelines to returning to work in COVID-19

CHECKLIST

  1. Alternate services
  2. Condoms
  3. Dams
  4. Lube
  5. Reduce risk
  6. Contact tracing

Always practice safe sex. Condoms for vaginal, oral, and anal, and dams if the client is going down on you and for rimming.

ALTERNATE SERVICES

Consider alternative ways of working, for example

  • Voyeuristic services
  • Quarantine/medical mask fantasy
  • Sexual positions that avoid ‘moist breath zone’
  • Cam/phone sex (see the article below)

REDUCE RISK

  • Do not offer GFE
  • Do not offer kissing
  • Avoid the ‘moist breath zone’ as much as possible
  • Wear mask and gloves when needed
  • Don’t do sex work if you have COVID-19/cold/flu symptoms
  • OR are in a high risk category
    • over 70yrs
    • compromised immunity
    • other conditions including respiratory conditions, heart conditions, high blood pressure, kidney problems or diabetes
    • receiving treatment for cancer or blood conditions
    • pregnant

Screen clients OUT for any of the following (DON’T SEE THEM!)

  • Symptoms of COVID-19/cold/flu
  • High risk categories (see above)
  • Known Covid19 contacts
  • Whether they have travelled from a cluster community

Strict hygiene

  • Shower before and after each client - the client should shower before and after each booking.
  • Frequent and thorough hand washing
    • Remember that even if you wear a mask, hands can still transmit the Corona Virus
    • Avoid touching your face or the faces of clients - this leaves live Corona droplets that can be transported, and transmitted, easily.
  • Frequent and thorough surface cleaning
  • Washing linen between each client
  • Anti- viral disinfectant (not just anti-bacterial)
    • Look for ingredients hypochlorite OR activated hydrogen peroxide (0.5%)
    • Conventional bleach
    • Ethanol
    • Isopropyl alcohol
    • Methylated spirits

 

 

CONTACT TRACING INFORMATION

 

IMPORTANT

In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it is important to be able to quickly trace the contacts of people who have become infected.

Keep a record of your jobs – date, time, and contact details (name, phone number, or e-mail address)

Agree with your clients that they will contact you if they test positive for Covid 19 (or have a close contact with someone who has)

When a person tests positive for Covid 19 they will be called by the local public health unit who will ask them to provide details of all the close contacts they’ve had.

Close contact include

  • Direct contact with body fluids of a case
  • Living in the same household or hostel with shared facilities with a case
  • Face-to-face contact within 2metres for longer than 15 minutes
  • Having been in an enclosed environment (classroom, waiting room etc) with a case

That information will then be passed onto contact tracers, who will connect with the people and places on the list to tell them that they may need to get a Covid 19 test.

Make sure you have a record of your bookings

  • Date, time, location, contact details (phone, name, e-mail address)

Get agreement from your client that if they are a close contact or test positive for Covid 19 they will contact you directly, or include you on a list of close contacts to public health officials.

QR code apps are available (see our contact tracing info)

Information can be found COVID-19 Government info for businesses.

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Online Sex Work Information Sheet

NZPC is aware that on-line sex work may not be for everyone, and that some people may have concerns about their images being used after they take their site down. However, for many people, this will be an important source of income while we are working through the COVID-19 period.

If you are considering on-line sex work, we do have information available for you and urge you to contat us to discuss the issues and the options available.

NZPC would like to thank the time and input donated by the local sex worker community to put this resource together and help other sex workers navigate through COVID-19. Community in action!

Please stay home, reach out for support to all your networks, and we’ll be here to advise you as best we can.

Kia kaha.

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Breaking News!

8.25pm 13 May 2020

NZPC has just been informed that sex work can begin again at Level 2 Alert. It is likely there will be conditions, and these will be announced tomorrow.

Please contact us on Thursday 14 May about working safely.

Be aware these may include the use of contact tracing. Information about contact tracing can be found on the WorkSafe website. A quick reference sheet is available at the following link:

https://covid19.govt.nz/assets/resources/posters/COVID-19-contact-tracing-info-A4.pdf

We are still in Level 3 Alert, but moving to Level 2 soon.

NZPC apologises for the delay in reaching out to you all following the Prime Ministers Level 2 announcement on Monday the 11th May 2020 at 4pm. NZPC are still in discussion with Ministry of Health, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment and other associated government agencies to ensure sex workers can go back to work as soon as possible.

There is yet to be a final decision. Hopefully this will happen soon.

One of the main issues being discussed is contact tracing and whether the clients will disclose their visit to see a sex worker. At this point our belief is clients could say they "had a drink with a friend who is a sex worker who can be contacted at venue/phone number".

It is recognised that sex workers and operators of sex work venues have been cooperative historically and in recent times to assist in contact tracing of clients and we remain committed to this.

Another significant issue is to do with the impact of prohibiting sex work and the associated risks this would cause as the transmission of viruses has the potential to thrive in spaces where sex work is illegal.

Please call us if you would like information about accessing the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy or the Job Seekers benefit through the Department of Work and Income MSD and contact tracing. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

https://www.nzpc.org.nz/

We are still at Alert Level 3 - no full-contact sex work may occur.

NZPC has been in discussions with high level management in several government agencies about when sex workers can start full contact sex work with clients again.

We are aware that some sex workers and operators have tried contacting some government departments and have spoken to customer services. Our information may be different to those on the customer service lines as our discussions are at senior planning and management level.

There is still no decision about whether some occupations, including sex work and sensual massage, can return to work in Alert Level 2.

Several government agencies are working through the issues and sex workers are being considered respectfully and with a lens of safety.

Some of the main issues being worked through are transfer of droplets and saliva, ability to use personal protective equipment (PPE) and ability to trace all contacts and clients in event of Covid 19 cases.

We haven't yet had a green light for sensual massage or sex work. We advise not to book clients for Level 2 until we have confirmation.

CONTACT TRACING INFORMATION

Contact tracing, privacy and best practice


Aotearoa New Zealand will be successful in eliminating Covid 19 in part due to effective contact tracing. Contact tracing may be challenging for sex workers due to privacy and the accuracy of client information, but we should still ensure we do our best if we come into contact with Covid 19.


Best practice guide for contact tracing.


The most important information is their phone number, location, and the date and time, in order to figure out who has had contact in the time frame at that location.

You can use a QR code for contactless scanning. This also protects information in an electronic way, rather than a paper sign in.


Details required

Where possible keep a record for each client of:

  • Date/time
  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Emaiol address
  • or number plate

The following is adapted from The Privacy Commission’s article about collecting information for the hospitality sector https://www.privacy.org.nz/blog/privacy-and-covid-19-hospitality-establishment-guest-registers/ and is a useful guide when considering privacy of clients.


Transparency


The client needs to know what the information is for and how it will be used.

For example: this information is only being collected for Covid 19 contact tracing reasons. It will only be given to MoH or DHB on request in the event that it is required for contact tracing purposes. We will not use it for any other purpose and will destroy it after 4 weeks. It will only be kept with me/us at this address. You have the right to access and correct any information we have about you


Security


Keep the information in a very safe place. For example, if you have a safe or where you keep your cash


Retention and disposal


After 4 weeks make sure you dispose of this information securely. Don’t just put it in the bin: shred it if you can, or find another way to destroy it.


Use of information


This is not an opportunity to collect numbers and information about clients and must only be used for contact tracing information. If you want to collect information about clients then you will need to gather that in a different way explaining what you are going to use it for.

The following is Ministry of Health information about contact tracing close contacts taken from here.

If you have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19, you can expect to be contacted by the Ministry of Health.

We call this ‘contact tracing’. Contact tracing involves a phone call from the Ministry providing you with advice on self-isolation and checking on your health and wellbeing. The Ministry call centre staff will identify themselves and inform you that they are calling from the National Close Contact Service. They will also verify your name and contact details. These calls from Ministry call centre staff will usually come from 09 801 3010.

Following this initial phone call your details are passed onto Healthline who will make follow up calls during your isolation period to check how you are doing. The calls from Healthline will usually come from 09 302 0408. There may be a delay before your call is connected. If you are concerned that a call from Healthline isn’t genuine you can email Healthline and request a call back.

It is important to answer your phone, so the Ministry and Healthline can get in touch with you during this time.

We are now at Level 3 Alert

Social distancing is still required and you can only run a business if you do not have direct contact with clients. This means that sex workers will not be able to recommence contact sex work until later. NZPC will keep you up to date with the Alert levels and let you know when you can start doing contact sex work with clients once again.

Other points (from https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-system/alert-level-3/)

Personal movement

Limiting our interactions with others is our best defence against COVID-19. Under Alert Level 3 we must continue to stay in our household bubbles whenever we are not at work, school, buying the groceries or exercising.

People must stay within their household bubble but can expand this to reconnect with close family/whānau, or bring in caregivers, or support isolated people. It’s important to protect your bubble if you extend it. Keep your bubble exclusive and only include people where it will keep you and them safe and well. If anyone within your bubble feels unwell, they should self-isolate from everyone else within your bubble.

Examples of expanding your bubble

  • If a relative or loved one lives locally and is currently alone, you can extend your bubble to include them.
  • If you are returning to work and need to make childcare or other care arrangements for those already in your bubble, a care provider can join your bubble.

 

Leaving your house at Alert Level 3

Just like Alert Level 4, people should stay at home as much as possible except for exercise, going to work or school, or visiting local services like the doctor, pharmacy or supermarket.

If you’re over 70 or are at higher risk of severe illness should you contract COVID-19, you need to be especially careful.

If you do leave the house:

  • keep a 2 metre distance from other people at all times
  • stay local if you go out for exercise
  • only exercise alone or with the people in your extended bubble
  • if you're exercising outside and it's too busy to keep a 2 metre distance from others, go home — go out later
  • help our emergency services by only doing activities that you can do safely 
  • you can do activities that are local, that you are experienced in and which do not involve interacting with other people or equipment touched by other people,
  • don’t go out on the water — boating, jet-skiing and scuba diving is not allowed
  • don’t do any team sports or training
  • don’t touch surfaces others may have touched — avoid park benches or playgrounds
  • don’t travel far from home, especially not to baches or second homes
  • only shop for essential supplies
  • wash your hands regularly.

Travelling around New Zealand

If you were in the wrong place when the restrictions came into place, and need to get home, you can now move throughout New Zealand to do so. There are some restrictions if you do travel. You can only move once, and in 1 direction.

New Zealand citizens living in the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau can travel domestically within New Zealand to connect to international flights to these islands.

Businesses and employees

There is guidance for businesses and employees under Alert Level 3. Find more information about:

Examples of businesses and employees under Alert Level 3

  • If you run a takeaway business, you can reopen it if you have pre-ordered contactless pick up or can provide home delivery.
  • A real estate agent can open, but people should work from home if they can. The agent can enter people’s homes, but not have customers in the office. You cannot run an open home.
  • Construction businesses can start work again but strict hygiene measures must be put in place — and office staff who can work from home should do so.

FAQs for businesses and employees

Why can’t people queue or browse in a retail shop?

This is about managing the risk of transmission. Retail shops can be difficult to control in terms of physical distancing and keeping surfaces clean. Exceptions have been made for businesses like supermarkets, but right now the risk of transmission is too high to allow this more widely. Measures like drive-through or home delivery better manage this risk, but unfortunately, not everyone will be able to do this.

When will businesses that involve close personal contact be allowed to open?

Right now, the risk of transmission from people providing services that require close personal contact, for example, hairdressers, manicurists, beauticians, domestic cleaners, personal trainers, gymnasiums, is too great. These businesses can resume under Alert Level 2, with appropriate health measures in place.

How do I find out about my rights as a worker, will wage subsidies continue?

Employment New Zealand has advice, including on health and safety, financial support and speaking up.

Employment New Zealand advice on COVID-19 and the workplace

These restrictions still mean that you will not be able to do contact sex work with clients.

- NZPC

A FURTHER NOTE FROM THE GOVERNMENT WEBSITE:

Compliance

The government, police and regulators such as WorkSafe will work with businesses and communities to make sure Level 3 requirements and guidance are followed. We need all New Zealanders to work together to make Alert Level 3 a success.

Coronavirus Covid-19: New Zealand sex workers suffer economic impacts

From the New Zealand Herald, 21 April 2020

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12326383

By: Katie Harris

(C) Copyright 2020, NZME Publishing Ltd

Dame Catherine Healy said it was a hard time for everyone, but sex workers are particularly at financial risk. Photo / Mark MitchelDame Catherine Healy said it was a hard time for everyone, but sex workers are particularly at financial risk. Photo / Mark Mitchel

One of the country's oldest professions is facing looming uncertainty, as the majority of physical sex work remains on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions.

The New Zealand Prostitutes Collective's national co-ordinator has warned that sex workers are particularly vulnerable to the economic effects of the outbreak because most of their work involves close physical contact.

Dame Catherine Healy said many were anxious to seek Government assistance because they didn't want to be associated with the industry or were nervous because they hadn't been compliant with their taxes.

"We suspect sex workers will be one of the last groups [that can work again], we suspect it will need to be a level one before usual sex work can continue."

She said the sex workers she had spoken to had been followed the lockdown rules, despite some clients trying to push the boundaries and asking workers to flout the level four restrictions.

Official advice from the organisation was that sex workers should contact them to arrange alternative income either through Work and Income or the wage subsidy scheme, however, some sex workers wanted to keep working and had moved online to make ends meet.

"Some of them of course were already involved in non-contact sex-work services, like camcording services and so on, but some of them have picked this up for the first time. I was talking to a sex worker who had developed a peep show scenario."

"It's really important that people understand things like privacy, its not something you should pick up without giving it consideration, there are pitfalls and there are benefits."

Healy said it "wasn't going to rain money" and the sex workers she'd spoken to warned it wasn't the greatest way to make a lot of money overnight.

As well as moving digitally, Healy said one had even "joined bubbles" with a client for the lockdown period, both were in singular bubbles.

Moving to Level 3 Alert Level

According to government advice, sex workers cannot see clients in-person during both Alert Levels 3 and 4. 

Today the govt announced Alert 3 measures and it's clear that in-person sex work is not permitted. It's likely the Prime Minister will announce on Monday 20 April 2020 when we will move into Alert Level 3 status.

There is currently no indication how long we may be in Level 3.

Please ensure you have enough income to get through this period.  If you need financial assistance you can still apply for the 12 week subsidy or Job Seekers Benefit. You don’t have to say that you are a sex worker on your application. 

Further announcements early next week will provide more information.

NZPC can assist with advice, applications, and referrals to other support agencies. Please see our contact page for details or send us an e-mail and this will be forwarded to people in the local community base who will be able to help you.

Government announcement on moving to Level 3 Alert Status

On Monday 20 April, the government announced we will be moving to Alert Level 3 status on Tuesday 28 April. In-person sex work is NOT permitted at Level 3.

It is expected we will move to Level 2 on 12 May. However, it might be later than this date.  It is UNLIKELY face-to-face sex work will be permitted at Level 2.

Sex workers have been teaching clients about safer sex for years, and can now be part of the team of 5 million New Zealanders working to eliminate COVID-19. 

We know clients are still contacting you seeking in person services. This is dangerous. When sex workers refuse in-person bookings and educate clients about health risks, we are part of that team uniting against COVID-19.

Kia kaha.

Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Easy Read Information

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-novel-coronavirus-information-specific-audiences/covid-19-information-disabled-people-and-their-family-and-whānau/covid-19-easy-read-information

COVID-19 Information

NZPC recognises that sex work is work and is the main form of income for a number of people.

However, with New Zealand currently in a Level 4 alert, sex workers are asked to comply with the requirement to stay at home during the 4-week period of isolation indicated by the Government. Only those in essential services will be permitted to work. Sex work is not classed among the essential services (doctors, pharmacists, police, ambulance, fire, vets, food production, and supermarkets).

Therefore NZPC wants all sex workers to comply with the 4-week closure, and not to offer physical contact sex work during this period.

Failure to comply could result in officials arriving at your place of work to enforce compliance just as they are with other businesses and people who do not self isolate.

We know this will cause hardship for many sex workers, if not most, and therefore also recommend that sex workers apply online for whatever benefits they may be entitled to. Information from WINZ is available here: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/

NZPC isn’t always able to keep up to date with all information about this virus. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please check the Unite Against COVID-19 website: https://covid19.govt.nz/

NZPC

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