Sex workers flooded a district with red light in protest of brothel closers due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The demonstration took place in Hamburg’s red light district late on Saturday evening and saw demands for Germany’s brothels be allowed to reopen after months of closure.
Shops, restaurants and bars are all open again in Germany – where prostitution is legal.
Sex workers say they are being singled out and deprived of their livelihoods despite not posing a greater health risk.
“The oldest profession needs your help,” read a notice held up by one woman in a brothel window in the Herbertstrasse.
The district was flooded with red light after being dark since March.
Some protesters wore theatrical masks while one played folk songs on a violin in the street just around the corner from the Reeperbahn, famous for its nightlife.
The Association of Sex Workers, which organised the protest, says the continued closure of licensed premises is forcing some prostitutes onto the streets, which is illegal and a far more dangerous and unhygienic way of working.
It said brothels could easily incorporate pandemic safety measures adopted by other industries, including face masks, ventilating premises and recording visitors’ contact details.
“Prostitution does not carry a greater risk of infection than other close-to-body services, like massages, cosmetics or even dancing or contact sports,” the association said in a statement.
“Hygiene is part of the business in prostitution.”
In Germany 9,134 people have died of Covid-19, with just shy of 200,000 having tested positive for the disease.