Sex workers in Bolivia are intent on returning to work at the soonest possible time fully dressed in thigh-skimming "biosecurity suits." In an effort to ensure safe encounters with customers and to survive this new pandemic life, sex workers have banded together to recommend the use of gloves, bleach and transparent raincoats.

The Organization of Night Workers in Bolivia wrote their safety program recommendations in a 30-page coronavirus manual. This is in an effort to push authorities and lobby for lifting of restrictions on their daytime operations ever since the government imposed a lock down in the capital of La Paz. As it is, they say the imposed curfew impedes on their normal night working hours.

In a report from Reuters, getting dressed for a day's work for these women could include a thong, glittery eye-mask and a sheer crotch dress or catsuit. These are then paired with health security accessories such as a face mask, a plastic face visor, gloves and a transparent rain jacket. Bleach is sprayed on poles in a number of erotic gestures if a client requires some pole dancing. Creativity is your only limit to sensuality.

The sex workers' union says, some of them do not have a lot of options other than working the streets if they are not able to make any bookings with brothels while these are still shut down. If this continues, they say working the streets poses even more danger and can make the situation worse. Prostitution is legal in Bolivia, but regulated in licensed brothels. To be able to work in brothels, prostitutes must be duly registered and are required to undergo health checks every 20 days for monitoring of sexually transmitted diseases. Police officers are also authorised to check a worker's registration whenever needed.

According to the World Health Organization, current evidence still shows the coronavirus cannot be sexually transmitted. However, any close contact with a person will highly likely lead to infection.

Swiss sex workers on the other hand, have called for mandatory wearing of masks and to maintain "one forearm length apart during sex. Clients are also required to divulge their personal details for the purposes of contact tracing and will be kept for a period of 4 weeks after booking.

Sex Workers stage a demonstration
There are approximately one million sex workers in the United States, many of whom are more vulnerable than ever due to the coronavirus pandemic Photo: AFP / Emily Kask