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Beauticians, tattooists and tanning salons reopen their doors in Shropshire

By Lisa O'Brien | Telford | Coronavirus | Published:

Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops are back open for the first time in four months as part of the latest relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England.

Mike Wilx, from Horsehay, and Sam Pryce, from St Georges, at Boss Ink Tattoo Studio

Many Shropshire salons and parlours have had a wave of bookings since announcing they were allowed to emerge from lockdown.

Extra safety measures, protective equipment and longer appointment times will be used and government guidance also states that face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials should not be provided because of the greater risk of Covid-19 transmission.

Business owners in the county were looking forward to welcoming back customers and said they would be prioritising their safety.

Among the businesses reopening today were the Boss Ink tattoo studios in Telford and Bridgnorth.

Owner Mike Wilkes said he had been inundated with bookings since Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced on Thursday that tattoo parlours could reopen.

He said: "Everyone has been really supportive.

Boss Ink Tattoo Studio is back open after closing in March

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"It's been frustrating to see people like hairdressers being able to reopen first but I'm sure the science backs it up and I understand it's best to stay safe.

"We are going to be staggering our appointments and our breaks. "We are doing a booking only system, so there's no walk-ins, and we are asking people to come on their own."

Both tattoo studios also have hygiene stations where customers can put on masks and gloves before they get their tattoo.

And staff have equipped themselves with face masks, visors, aprons and gloves.

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Although being forced to close for months isn't ideal for any business, Mike says it has brought the team closer together.

"We panicked a bit at first but we've been able to redecorate the studios and reconfigure the one in Bridgnorth to help with the return to work," he said.

"We've been doing commissioned drawings for people and making more tattoo designs for when we come back.

"We are excited about reopening. We are all looking forward to getting back and seeing the clients and meeting new clients. It's a fun job to have.

"You meet new people and people from all kinds of different backgrounds."

Tran Chung at Shifnal Nails

Tran Chung has also been frantically preparing to reopen her salon, Shifnal Nails, following the go-ahead by the Goverrment.

Customers will have access to a hand wash station, hand sanitiser and they will be offered a face mask on arrival.

The salon also has new signage, protective equipment for its staff and will be carrying out temperature checks.

In addition, there are perspex screens at the tables and socially distanced markings to help keep customers safe.

Tran, who opened the salon in 2015 and has two assistants, said: "I'm very excited, however we only just got the news last minute on Thursday.

"We haven't had long to put all the things in place.

"We are definitely doing everything we can to make sure we follow the guidelines and keep everyone safe. All of the customers are so happy.

"My first two weeks of coming back is already fully booked, but we are allowing more time for each appointment slot.

"We can't fit as many customers in per day as we could before.

"We also used to offer our customers tea, coffee and biscuits which we won't be able to do now."

It comes as gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools across the county are now gearing up to reopen their doors on July 25.

What will change as beauty salons reopen?

– What can reopen?

Nail bars in England will be allowed to reopen on July 13, along with beauty salons, spas and physical therapy businesses.

Tattoo and massage studios and piercing services will also be allowed to reopen their doors as well as tanning salons.

Both fixed and freelance workers have been given the green light to resume services by the Government.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Enabling these often small, independent businesses to reopen is yet another step in our plan to kickstart the economy to support jobs and incomes across the country.”

– What will be different?

Screens and barriers will be in place between customers and staff in many premises, with increased surface cleaning and hand washing enforced.

You will be likely to see more disposable equipment, and skin to skin contact will be avoided where possible.

The new measures will spell the end of a spontaneous treatment in many salons, as businesses are asked to consider using appointment-only booking systems to minimise the number of people on site at one time.

London Fashion Week February 2020
Nail treatments are back on the menu from Monday (Aaron Chown/PA)

You will also see the end of a cup of tea with your mani-pedi, as food and drink other than water are likely to be banned.

– What about social distancing?

Customer chairs will be spread out, which may reduce the number of appointments your favourite salon can host.

If two-metre distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing treatments, the person providing the service should wear extra protection.

This may include a clear visor that covers the face, in addition to screens and gloves.

Coronavirus – Sun Jul 12, 2020
Businesses will have to comply with enhanced cleaning and protective measures (Martin Rickett/PA)

– What treatments can I get?

Like many other businesses forced to close during the lockdown, nail salons and beauty parlours will also be offering a reduced service.

Only treatments that avoid work directly in front of the face will be allowed.

This means nail treatments, leg and bikini waxing and massages will be back on the menu from Monday.

-What treatments are not allowed?

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said there would be restrictions on “particularly high-risk services” from beauticians.

As directly in front of the face has been deemed the highest risk zone by the Government, face waxing, sugaring, eyebrow and eyelash treatments, facials and make-up application will not be allowed until advice changes.

Coronavirus – Sun Jul 12, 2020
Only some treatments will be permitted under the new measures (Joe Giddens/PA)

– What other changes will there be?

Businesses will be asked to keep records of customers and staff to share with NHS Test and Trace if needed.

Employers will have also performed a risk assessment to ensure their premises are Covid secure, and have been asked to display a notice to confirm this to visitors.

– What businesses are still to open?

Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities are to reopen from July 25 under recently announced guidance.

The guidance also supports the reopening of sports halls which will allow the return of sports such as badminton and volleyball.

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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