Coronavirus: Beauty salons and tattooists in Wales reopen

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Customers are back in beauty salons and tattoo parlours - but with protective measures in place

Beauty salons and tattooists in Wales are allowed to reopen for the first time since lockdown.

The Welsh Government's latest easing of restrictions means nail bars, spas, and tanning shops can open again on Monday.

But people will have to wait longer for facials and to get their eyebrows and eyelashes done, with guidelines warning the treatments are "too high risk".

One salon owner in Vale of Glamorgan said she had missed out on trade during her busiest time of year.

And a tattooist in Gwynedd opened at midnight to finish off a woman's tattoo she had started before lockdown.

Media caption,

Life is "horrible" without his fillers and Botox, Iwan Steffan says

Welsh Government guidance has outlined which businesses can open on Monday, and measures they should put in place, including:

  • Beauty salons, including nail bars and tanning shops, can reopen, but facial treatments are not advised
  • Spas can resume business, but only for beauty treatments and not for saunas and pools
  • Tattooists can resume, but walk-in appointments are not allowed
  • Businesses offering piercing, electrolysis and acupuncture have also given the green light to reopen
  • Hairdressers have been able to open since 13 July.

But the Welsh Government guidance has "strongly advised" beauticians not to perform facial treatments, due to the high risk of people being face-to-face for long periods of time.

This includes eyebrow tinting, waxing and threading, fillers, eyelash treatments, dermaplaning and microblading treatments and makeup.

If beauticians choose to perform treatments on clients' faces, they must wear a fluid resistant surgical face mask, goggles, disposable gloves and an apron, and be fully trained in using personal protective equipment (PPE) safely, the guidelines say.

The Welsh Government said it had "worked with public health experts and the beauty industry to develop the guidance and make it is as clear as possible for an industry that covers a huge range of different procedures across a wide variety of settings".

The decision to prohibit facial treatments is based on Public Health Wales guidance, it added.

Beauty salons

Image source, Jayne Goodings
Image caption,
Jayne Goodings, owner of Lemon Tree Nails and Beauty Salon, says she has missed out on most of her busiest time of year

The owner of a beauty salon said businesses would be trying to make up for a significant loss of income, but predicted some would be unable to open straight away due to receiving the guidance at such short notice.

"Our busiest time of the year is from April to September when we take possibly more than 50% of our annual takings so for us it's been a massive hit on our business," said Jayne Goodings, owner of Lemon Tree Nails and Beauty Salon, in Cowbridge.

"The guidance was issued [Friday] and we're due to open on Monday.

"I'm lucky that I've got the measures in place but there could be a lot of salons that haven't and are now trying to source PPE in readiness for Monday."

Ms Goodings added: "It has been difficult. Sourcing PPE in itself has been a marathon to say the least."

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Sarah Bruton said beauty therapists were already well trained in limiting cross-infection

Sarah Bruton of Captiva Spa and Lounge in Caerphilly says she will now open seven days a week to cope with demand and allow staff to work the same hours but with more space around them.

She has introduced perspex screens, hand-sanitising stations and temperature checks, and removed things like fluffy towels and robes.

Sarah said: "We've changed some of our operating processes so we do treatments in a slightly different way and we've procured lots of PPE, so things like aprons, visors and gloves and masks, to make our working practices as safe as possible."

She added: "We're trained to do things like limit cross-infection and prevent contamination, so we're already very well placed to be able to protect people against Covid."

The tattooist

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Jules Lee said tattooists were already "one of the cleanest places"

Jules Lee opened her tattoo shop in Bangor at midnight. Her first client was a woman whose tattoo was left incomplete when lockdown was announced.

Because of the strict hygiene rules governing tattoo shops before the pandemic, Ms Lee said Covid-19 requirements should not be too challenging.

"Tattooists are one of the cleanest places you can be," she said.

"There is a need for more PPE - we were already using PPE anyway, but we have to use more now."

Image source, Jules Lee
Image caption,
Ms Lee finished a tattoo of a rose, inspired by the Disney film Beauty and the Beast, on Louise Pritchard's leg

Louise Pritchard, Ms Lee's first customer after reopening, said: "I have waited for this since Jules had to close, [it] feels like forever. It feels like a lifetime ago.

"I agreed to come at midnight because I've been waiting for ages and I was really looking forward to it.

"I love my ink. I don't like things being half finished and Jules has been great fitting me in, and it is really therapeutic."

Ms Lee said the tattoo, on Ms Pritchard's lower leg, was inspired by the film Beauty and the Beast and was part of a wider piece.

"Louise is a Disney mega fan," she said. "We are working on a Disney-themed leg sleeve for her.

"She's a very loyal client that I've been tattooing for months and she was very eager to get more ink as soon as."

Image source, Jules Lee
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New PPE requirements are the biggest change, Ms Lee says

Ms Lee said customers needed to book in advance and must not turn up more than five minutes before their appointment or hang around afterwards.

Hand sanitiser will be provided for customers and she will leave an hour between appointments to allow her time to "deep clean".

After a "worrying" time without revenue, Ms Lee said she could not wait to reopen.

"I'm so excited - I just love my job," she added.

What else is changing on Monday?

Image source, Getty Images
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The housing market can fully reopen on Monday

What's next to reopen?

Image source, PA Media
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Pubs in England reopened indoors on 4 July

Pubs, cafes and restaurants in Wales have been given a potential date of 3 August by the Welsh Government for when they can open indoors - although they have already been allowed to do so outdoors since 13 July.

But despite the easing of many restrictions, some sectors remain shut with no plans to restart.

They include indoor gyms and leisure facilities, such as swimming pools, as well as theatres and music venues.

What has already reopened or restarted?

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Hairdressers reopened earlier this month

The first places to reopen in Wales were recycling centres, libraries and some garden centres on 11 May - the same day the first minister allowed people to exercise outside more than once a day.

Non-essential shops and schools for all pupils were allowed to reopen last month while small marriage ceremonies and outdoor sports were also allowed to open again.

On Saturday, it was expanded to include accommodation that does share facilities, including campsites and all hotels, and underground attractions can resume trading.

Hairdressers, churches, church halls, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and funfairs have already reopened while partners are now allowed to attend antenatal appointments .