Mexborough beautician among thousands campaigning for industry re-opening date

A major campaign is underway to get beauty salons back open - with a warning from one Mexborough owner that many will collapse if the government does not change the lockdown rules soon.

It comes as hairdressers were able to open again at the weekend and as thousands of beauticians sign petitions and lobby MPs to get their industry heard.

Many in the beauty industry argue that salons are incredibly clean and pose a low risk of virus transmission, due to the high levels of sanitation required to keep kit and equipment safe - even before COVID-19 struck.

Zoe Mizon, owner of the Lash Academy and Ladies Lounge in Mexborough, wants to see a firm re-opening date set by the government. Zoe said: "We are really happy that hair salons can now reopen, and that is a step in the right direction.

"However, we are really struggling. All the grants have gone, we have no money left. We are still expected to pay the bills and the rent, yet we are still forced to close.

"Beauty salons are one of the most sanitary places you can visit. In my salon, even before coronavirus, we were already doing everything that is now expected. We are always hand sanitising, using masks, sterilising, disinfecting, using disposables, foot coverings and wearing full PPE.

"We are more than ready to go back to work in a safe way. It is just madness that we cannot go back - yet the pubs can. It just does not make sense."

Zoe has also raised concerns over the impact their closure is having on clients, claiming many open up to their beauty therapists about issues such as domestic abuse, or book appointments to improve their well-being. 

"Beauty treatments make you feel better about yourself and they can also have a massive effect on mental health. I have clients that have been with me for years, and I am someone customers can confide in. We are a safe place. Lots of people who suffer from things like domestic abuse will tell their beautician or hairdressers. A lot of the time we are in an isolated room with that one person, so they do feel like they can talk to us."

Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has also backed the calls, and is asking the government to 'think again'.

“Many businesses feel badly let down – especially as the government had not made this distinction between these businesses in their earlier guidelines on opening up the economy again," he said.

“These other close contact services feel they’ve put in place all the necessary safety measures to protect their clients and staff and want the same chance to reopen.

“I’m calling on the Government to publish the scientific advice behind this last minute distinction and to rethink this decision that puts so many businesses at such a disadvantage as they try to get their services running again."

In response, a government spokesperson said:“We are taking a phased, cautious approach to reopening our economy. We want to reopen closed businesses as soon as possible, once we’re confident they are able to operate in a COVID-secure way. This is particularly important for close contact services such as beauty salons, which can often pose a greater risk of transmission due to prolonged periods of face-to-face contact.

“Businesses including beauty salons can continue to access our extensive package of financial measures. We have also provided £76 million in funding to support domestic abuse victims during this time.”

 

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