Chinese
Korean
Thai
Search our Site
Chinese
Korean
Thai
Search our Site

Covid-19 Safe Plan Guidelines for Sex Service Businesses

Background

In 2020 Australian sex work organisations and Scarlet Alliance developed Covid-19 Safe Plan Guidelines. SWOP NSW has adapted these Guidelines for sex workers and business in NSW.

 

COVID-19 Safe Plans by Jurisdiction 

Each state and territory has specific requirements for personal care services (such as massage parlours), entertainment venues (such as licensed clubs, brothels and sex on premises venues), and leisure centres (saunas and bathhouses). The jurisdictional public health directions provide limitations on how and when those services can operate, including adherence to physical distancing requirements. In some cases, both the organisation of and the attendance at such activities or venues is prohibited. The closures remain in place while the public health direction is in effect. Businesses that have bars, saunas or spas within their venues must take account of all restrictions pertaining to all elements of each venue, including the full range of restricted activities in each jurisdiction. 

NSW

https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/covid-safe/beauty-and-other-services

 

VIC

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19

https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/coronav irus-covid-19/coronavirus-business-support#business%20restrictions

QLD

https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/approved-industry-covid-safe-plans

 

TAS

https://www.worksafe.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/570168/COVID-SafeWorkplace-Guidelines-Hairdressing,-Beauty-and-Other-Personal-Services.pdf

 

WA

https://www.covid-19.wa.gov.au/recovery/create-a-covid-safe-plan

 

SA

https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/recovery/create-a-covid-safe-plan

 

NT

https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/roadmap-nw-normal/business/guidelines-for-personal -services-stage-3

 

ACT

https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/business-and-work

 

 

 Guidance on Development of Plans

Each venue is unique and should develop a tailored plan based on the information contained in this guide. Each state and territory will have additional requirements in place for what is required in COVID-19 Safety Plan for sex service premises.

The below information and checklists is a guide only to assist businesses in creating a bespoke plan for each business to be safe for staff, service providers and clients. 

  

 What

 Key Summary Actions

 Who

Preparation for returning to work

 

Check for changes to return to work restrictions

 Businesses

 

Consider provision of alternate services to reduce contact  

Businesses and service providers

 

 

Prepare COVID-19 Safe Plan in accordance with guidance and requirements in your state and territory

 

Businesses in consultation with staff and service providers

 

General COVID-19 Measures

 

Ensure each venue adheres to specified person limits in premises and per room based on density and physical distancing requirements in your state and territory. Rearrange the physical workplace and mark out spacing to facilitate physical distancing if necessary.  

 

 Businesses

 

Exclude from the premises service providers, staff and clients who are unwell, have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 in the last two weeks or who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.  

 

 Businesses

 

Encourage staff, service providers and clients to complete a symptoms of coronavirus health questionnaire, including a temperature check, at home prior to attending. If they have a temperature of above 37.5 or symptoms of coronavirus they should not attend the premises.

 

 Businesses

 

Provide staff and service providers with information and training on COVID-19, including when to get tested, physical distancing and cleaning.

 

 Businesses

 

Protect staff wellbeing by ensuring safety and hygiene measures are in place for the entire venue. Undertake a deep clean of the premises and implement additional hygiene and cleaning measures and practices.

 

 Businesses

 

Keep a record of a name and a contact for all staff, service providers and clients for a period of at least 28 days. Ensure records are used only for the purposes of tracing COVID-19 infections and are stored confidentially and securely.  

In the event of a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) among staff, service providers, or clients, or an outbreak affecting your business, be prepared to work with health department staff to provide necessary details for purposes of contract tracing.  

 Businesses

 

Make your service providers aware of the COVIDSafe app and its benefits to support contact tracing if required. 

Display conditions of entry on website, social media and/or premise entry.

 Businesses

Precautions in sex work workplaces

 

Avoid walk-in bookings.

Take pre-booking appointments by phone, text or online. 

 Businesses

 

Advise potential clients that they will not be able to enter the premises if they are experiencing symptoms that may indicate COVID-19 or had contact with a person who was confirmed to have COVID-19 in the last two weeks or if they have tested positive for

COVID-19 or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.

Businesses and service providers

 

 

Limit the use of cash transactions by encouraging customers to pay in advance, via direct deposit or other contactless payment options. Use disposable gloves to receive and count money and/or wash or sanitise hands immediately following handling.

 

Businesses and staff

 

 

Limit clients per booking to a maximum one client at any time.

 

Businesses and service providers

 

 

Kissing is not recommended due to COVID-19 transmission risk factors. Consider strategies to decrease risk of transmission, such as avoiding face-to-face contact.  

Service providers 

 

PPE including condoms, gloves and dams should be used for all services. 

Service providers 

 

Ensure safer sex supplies, such as condoms and lube, are single use sachets or remove from public access. 

Businesses

 

Ensure all toys are covered with condoms during use and cleaned thoroughly with detergent and disinfectant after the booking. Only toys or equipment that belong to the service provider or business should be used.  

Service providers

 

All PPE waste from the booking should be handled using usual PPE safety precautions, and should be placed and tied in a rubbish bag before disposing of them with other domestic waste. 

Service providers

 

Hygiene Practises

Practise good hygiene by frequently showering and cleaning hands with soap and water. Follow the COVID-19 recommended hand washing technique. Hand washing should be undertaken for at least 20 seconds. Wash the whole of each hand, covering all areas with soap before washing with water. Hand sanitiser can be used when hand washing is not practical, except when hands are visibly soiled. Alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol is recommended. 

Service providers and clients

 

All personal belongings including clothing of clients should be kept in the same place in the workroom and not handled after the client has showered.  Ahead of commencing a booking, these belongings should not be rehandled. If handling prior to commencement of a booking is required, the client needs to wash prior to the commencement of the booking. Clients should leave used towels after showering in the bathroom.  

Service providers and clients

 

Service providers should shower before and after each client, and clients should shower before and after each session using soap. Service providers and staff should visually confirm that the client has followed instructions.  

Service providers and clients

 

Bed linen and used towels should be bagged at the end of the booking. Consider double bagging of wet linen and towels. All used linen should be handled with care to avoid dispersal of microorganisms into the environment and to avoid contact with staff clothing. Using gloves is recommended   when handling towels or linen for washing, to limit contact of dirty linen. Dispose of gloves appropriately and wash hands after removal of gloves.  

 

Linen should be washed on the hottest setting items can withstand.  

Service providers and staff

 

Service providers and staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water. 

Service providers and staff

  

Environmental Measures including Cleaning   

Businesses are encouraged to have a plan that takes into account coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance from Safe Work Australia and/or the jurisdictional WHS bodies listed below and the guidelines contained in this document.  

Additional hygiene measures are a priority during COVID-19. Extra cleaning should be carried out throughout the sex service businesses. While these additional measures will vary between venues, a person who owns, controls or operates a sex service business must, at a minimum: 

  • Undertake initial pre-opening deep cleaning and implement an environmental cleaning schedule to ensure frequent cleaning and disinfection of high touch surfaces and bathrooms. 
  • Any surfaces clients touch should be cleaned with a detergent or disinfectant solution or wipe between and after each client. Towels and linen should be laundered and changed and laundered between clients.
  • Clean hard surface areas in areas frequented by service providers or clients at least daily with detergent/disinfectant. Clean frequently touched areas and surfaces several times per day with a detergent/disinfectant solution or wipe.
  • Service providers and staff are to wear gloves when cleaning and wash hands thoroughly before and after with soap and water.
  • Display posters on good hygiene and handwashing practices in prominent places and establish hygiene stations (with hand sanitiser) at entrances and throughout the venue to encourage hand hygiene of staff and patrons. 
  • Ensure bathrooms are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels including in room washing facilities.
  • Maximise ventilation where possible. 
  • Reduce touch points where possible, such as using contact-less payments, removing books, magazines and pamphlets. Where necessary printed information for clients such as, services and price lists should be laminated to enable cleaning in between each use 

Frequent cleaning and hand hygiene are fundamental to reducing the risks from coronavirus (COVID-19). Soap (from a dispenser) and water should be used to clean hands. An alcohol-based hand rub can also be used (where for example, when hands are not soiled but may have been contaminated from contact with environmental surfaces). Cleaning hands also helps to reduce contamination of surfaces and objects that may be touched by other people. Staff should avoid touching their face, especially their mouth, nose, and eyes when cleaning. Staff should also clean hands before putting on and after removing gloves used for cleaning. 

Venues should regularly check that they are complying with current directions and advice provided by health authorities. Venues should also note that the workplace health and safety obligations remain under relevant Work Health and Safety laws in each state and territory with respect to identifying hazards and eliminate or, where is not possible to eliminate, reduce risks as far as reasonably applicable. This includes preventing, and where prevention is not possible, reducing, risks to health and safety associated with potential exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19). For more information, see:         https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1702/how_to_manage_whs_risks.pdf 

 

For a link to the WHS laws in your state and territory visit: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/law-and-regulation

 

Check your current health advice. Implement  physical distancing measures wherever possible.  These include:

  • Display a sign at each public entry that includes information on the maximum number of people that can be in the space at a single time.
  • Provide physical barriers or floor markings to ensure physical distancing is maintained in all waiting rooms, at reception areas, staff rooms and thoroughfares.
  • Ensure seating in waiting areas complies with physical distancing of 1.5 metres, rearrange if needed. Where premises have multiple waiting rooms limit occupancy of each room where possible to one client per room
  • Rearrange the physical workplace to facilitate physical distancing.
  • Consider client, service provider and staff movement throughout the venue and associated with entry and exit from the venue (consider separate entry and exit points if practicable). 
  • Socialising among workers has been responsible for the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) (such as carpooling, huddling together at meal breaks or when smoking, sharing items such as cigarette lighters and cutlery, and before and after work). Staff and service providers are to be encouraged to maintain 1.5 metres of distance from their work colleagues at all times.
  • Where reasonably practical, stagger start times and breaks for service providers.

For further information on physical distancing in your workplace visit: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces/industry-information/ general-industry-information/physical?tab=tab-toc-employer

 

It will not always be possible for service providers and clients to keep 1.5 metres apart at all times at the workplace, particularly during a sex work booking.  

Working in close contact increases the risk of workers being exposed to COVID-19. You must consider alternate work practices where possible and you must undertake a risk assessment to determine what control measures are reasonably practicable in the    circumstances to eliminate or minimise health and safety risks  from COVID-19. For example, where close contact is unavoidable, you must implement other control measures such as: 

  • Use of PPE such as condoms, dams, gloves for all services
  • Limit the number of people in each booking
  • Avoid kissing and face to face contact
  • Consider shorter booking times to limit the duration of close contact

For a list of harm reduction strategies for service providers in a sex work booking visit: https://redbook.scarletalliance.org.au/covid-19/

 

Last Updated: 27 August 2021