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Private dancing banned

Private dancing will be banned and stripping will only be allowed with special permission in Iceland after July 1 as reported this weekend, according to a new law provision accepted by parliament in March.

“These strip joints encourage human trafficking, prostitution and pornography and these laws are a charge against it,” MP for the Left Greens (Vinstri graenir) Atli Gíslason told Fréttabladid.

“The main rule is that all venues that thrive of pornography and similar are banned; strip joints and pole dancing clubs,” Gíslason said. “It is new and it applies to everyone.”

According to the new law provision, it is illegal to offer nude shows and sell the nudity of employees or guests unless the venue in question has permission from the appropriate local authority, the health committee, the fire department, a building officer and police.

“This is like it has always been; you need permission from all parties,” Ásgeir Davídsson, owner of Goldfinger strip club in Reykjavík suburb Kópavogur, told Fréttabladid.

“I can’t follow this anymore; they are always changing something and it appears to me that every change is a change for the worse,” Davídsson said.

With the new provision it will be illegal for dancers to “walk among spectators” and private dancing is prohibited. Private dancing in closed spaces was already banned, but at Goldfinger private dancing was offered behind closed curtains.

Davídsson said he wasn’t sure whether the new provision would change anything about private dancing behind curtains. “They talk about spectators in plural, not singular. I don’t know, I’ll have to look into it.”

“I can’t figure out why they’re banning private dancing and legalizing prostitution. I have the feeling they don’t know on which foot to stand. This has become silly,” Davídsson said. “I’m sure I’m in a grey area, but I haven’t been doing anything illegal,” he concluded.

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