Depending on which Aussie state you live in, going to the salon for a wax or facial treatment has become a game of Russian roulette with salons treating up to 20 people per day during COVID.
While much of Victoria is closed under strict Stage 4 restrictions, New South Wales is still open, with beauty services allowing a maximum of 10 clients at any one time. But with COVID cases remaining steady, especially in western Sydney, how safe is your next visit?
Under the New South Wales Government guidelines, beauty and nail services are required to have a safety plan in place with cleaning, physical distancing in waiting areas, attendance records for clients, and exclusion of unwell staff.
Beauty therapist Kez Tham from Beauty on Park Street in Sydney’s CBD, said while they maintain a strict safety plan, abiding by the health guidelines hasn’t always been easy.
“When we first opened, there weren’t many guidelines; it was a little bit all over the place,” she said.
“We take the temperature before each client comes in, everything is disposable, and we send a message to clients to let them know to wear masks.”
“The problem is we’re taking these precautions, but if someone asymptomatic comes in, you don’t know.”
Sixty-one cases were recorded across New South Wales last week, with hotspots scattered in Sydney’s inner west and the Campbelltown-Macarthur region.
Beauty therapist Dipika Magar from Glorious Beauty said their salon in Campbelltown has seen a significant downturn since the recent outbreaks.
“We’re seeing only three or four clients in a day,” she said.
“We’re okay but business has definitely been affected.”
With pressure mounting to reimpose restrictions in Sydney to avoid a second wave, the risk of infection remains in beauty salons as they struggle to stay open while keeping clients safe.
What do you think about salon safety during COVID?
For more information go to the NSW Government Health page to see the COVID-safe guidelines.