Claim: Just 20 Per Cent of Greek Prostitutes Are Vaccinated

This picture taken on July 2, 2020, shows a brothel owner preparing a room in central Athens. - The brothels in central Athens relieved after the lockdown induced penury, was buzzing with clients on a hot July afternoon. Traffic is quite dense since mid-June, when the sex workers were allowed …
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images

Just 20 per cent of prostitutes in Greece have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus, claims an association representing sex workers.

President of the Association of Prostituted Persons of Greece (SEPE), Elli Kanellopoulou, said that the vaccination rate for prostitutes is especially low and claimed that government restrictions on vaccinations for indoor activities were “impractical” for sex workers.

“In practice, the measures cannot be implemented, especially now that rapid tests are also requested. What else are we going to do in our business?” Kanellopoulou told the news website ThessToday earlier this week.

She added that prostitutes had complied with various government requests — such as limiting time with clients to 15 minutes, opening windows, and ensuring there was no face to face contact during intercourse — but said it would be difficult to check for vaccine passports, as well.

Kanellopoulou claimed that prostitutes would have to pay for coronavirus rapid tests themselves, which has led some to face serious financial problems.

Earlier this year, Kanellopoulou claimed that as many as 90 per cent of Greek prostitutes were going hungry as brothels were being shut down due to lockdown restrictions.

“Their situation is tragic… Many have lost their homes and are hungry. Those who are lucky rely on friends and family. But many face homelessness,” she said in February.

Last year in France, associations representing prostitutes demanded the government to hand out cash to sex workers who were forced off the streets during the early days of the pandemic due to the country’s strict lockdowns.

The Red Umbrella Federation stated that a government bailout would keep prostitutes off the streets and said without one, many would defy the lockdown as a matter of survival.

In February of this year, the Austrian government decided to ease restrictions on several professions, including prostitution, before pubs and bars were even allowed to open. Brothels and strip clubs remained closed, however.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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