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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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?
- The housing market can fully reopen to include viewings of occupied properties
- Cinemas, museums, amusement arcades, galleries and archives will be able to open their doors. But whether they do or not will depend on the venues themselves. The cinema industry has warned “few, if any” cinemas will reopen on Monday
- Driving lessons can restart – lessons started again England earlier in the month, on 4 July
- Face coverings will also become mandatory on all public transport, including taxis.
What’s next to reopen?
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?
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.
Then, self-contained accommodation without shared facilities reopened on 11 July.
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 .