Zurich council has approved a plan to build the boxes, which will, it hopes, provide a discreet location for prostitutes and their clients to conduct business when they open in August next year.
Located in an industrial area of the city, the row of garage-like boxes will have roofs and walls for privacy, and easy access for cars. The council estimates that around 30 prostitutes will meet clients at the site of the boxes, and use the drive-in slots on a first-come-first-served basis.
“The big difference is that until now prostitution has been in the public space,” Michael Herzig, from Zurich’s social welfare department, told Swiss Radio. “Now we are going to change this, move it from the street to a private space in an old industrial area, which belongs to the city. This gives us the possibility to define the rules of prostitution in this area.”
The opening of the sex boxes will coincide with a major reform of prostitution laws in the Swiss city. Prostitution will be outlawed in certain areas of Zurich where it has taken grip, and led to local complaints about women being harassed on the streets and the activities of pimps.
The prostitutes who use the sex boxes will also have to take out medical insurance and buy a £26 licence in order to ply their trade. On top of that they will also have to feed five Swiss francs, about £3.30, into a roadside ticket machine each night when they clock on.