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Adult entertainment industry protests COVID-19 restrictions

Owners of adult entertainment establishments in Baltimore are protesting COVID-19 restrictions that mandate the continued closure of their businesses.

The owners pointed to the mayor’s order that took effect Monday, saying their businesses were not permitted to open while others were.

“This is a deeply unfair move, in our view,” an unnamed spokesperson for adult entertainment business owners in Baltimore said in a statement released by the industry. “We’re being selectively targeted to stay closed. If you can open a gym or put on a stage show, you can have a gentleman’s club open. There’s some other agenda at work here, and it’s very insensitive to the not inconsequential number of people who make their livings through the adult entertainment industry.”

The statement pointed to the workers, in addition to the entertainers, who depend on the industry to survive, including cooks, bartenders, janitors, security guards and building tradespeople.

According to the statement, a Baltimore City Health Department representative said the city is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about how COVID-19 is transmitted, saying the recommendations restrict “activities that bring groups people into close contact for prolonged periods of time; activities that are difficult to do while wearing face coverings and/or social distancing; activities that take place indoors and/or in spaces with poor ventilation.”

The industry spokesperson in the statement said: “This is a ridiculous and untenable position. Perhaps this individual has never been to an adult establishment. He might see that his concerns are quite ill-founded.”

Some city COVID-19 restrictions to be eased Monday

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