COVID-19 Updates

Prague wants to use Brothel as quarantine facility for homeless

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The Prague City Hall wants to use a public market hall in the Holesovice district, now a brothel, as a quarantine facility and homeless shelter that would allow them to enter officially-mandated quarantine persons, Mayor Zdenek Hrib (Pirates) told CTK today.

Hrib said the owner of the brothel now has 72 hours to vacate the premises and that the city is ready to clear the space out by other means if needed.

The City Hall sent a letter to the Eroc company, the owner of the space. The company has not signed any official contract with the city, with City Hall stating that court proceedings have already started.

The city is also looking for other spaces suitable for the quarantine of the homeless.

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“The homeless have no place to quarantine themselves and have no way of fulfilling the recommendation to go straight home from work every day, since they have no homes and no jobs. We thus had to look for suitable spaces, one of them being the illegally used hall occupied by the Eroc company,” Hrib said.

The brothel started its operations at the location in 1998 and Eroc has signed a contract with the former owner, the Delta Center company. This means that Eroc never signed a contract with the city of Prague directly.

Some time ago, the court dealing with a lawsuit filed by the City Hall decided that Delta Center must vacate the area and cover the primary as well as secondary costs of renting it.

At a meeting of city representatives last December, the Eroc company’s representative Zbynek Matula said that the brothel was able to function without major issues for the last 20 years, significantly reducing the number of prostitutes in the streets of Prague overall.

Matula asked the city to prepare a lease contract, saying the 600 sex workers would otherwise move closer to the centre of town.

City representatives rejected Matula’s offer at the time, with Deputy Mayor Pavel Vyhnanek (Prague to Itself) saying such a step would be against the law.

The City Hall is also looking for locations where it could build tents.

According to city representatives, there are several hundred homeless that will require quarantine facilities.

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