Victoria salons allowed out of lockdown ‘early’

That cheer you can hear is coming from salon owners in Victoria, celebrating the state government’s backflip on their lockdown timeline.

Previously, it was reported that beauty businesses would be forced to remain closed until at least November 23, when no new COVID-19 cases had bee recorded for two weeks. The prospect meant that salon owners would be headed into the Christmas season still in lockdown.

But now, Premier Daniel Andrews has announced that salons will open alongside other retail businesses, more likely to be around October 26, proved there were fewer than five cases recorded on average across a two-week period.

There will be strict guidelines though. Masks must be worn by both salon workers and customers, meaning that any treatment that can’t be carried out while wearing a mask – such as upper lip waxing or facial tattooing – won’t be permitted.

The backflip comes after Katelyn Wheatley, the owner of Melbourne’s Laser Skin & Body, launched a petition to re-open the beauty industry. Emphasising that to date no COVID-19 cases have been linked to the beauty industry, Katelyn said: “Our industry operates under medical-level sanitation and hygiene protocols. We wear gloves. We wear masks. We disinfect all touch points and all equipment after each use. These protocols have been in place long before the pandemic came to our State and will continue to be upheld long after it passes.”

Given that the beauty industry represents over $6.5 billion in annual revenue nationally, the suffocation of it has had dire effects on the economy. So the premier’s announcement that salons would now be permitted to open alongside hairdressers and other retailers has been met with jubilation. “This is an incredible outcome,” says Katelyn, whose petition garnered more than 20,000 signatures in less than a week.

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