Friday, 30 October 2020

Beauticians and nail bars frustrated by long wait for permission to re-open

Beauticians and nail bars frustrated by long wait for permission to re-open

NAIL bars and beauty salons in Henley are counting the cost of the coronavirus pandemic as they wait for permission to re-open.

Although hairdressers were allowed to return on Saturday, along with pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, businesses deemed to be higher risk when it comes to spreading the infections still don’t know when they will be able to follow suit.

Boris Johnson has said he will only allow these types of businesses to re-open when he is confident it is safe to do so.

France Baudet, owner of Cannelle Medispa, a beauty salon in Hart Street, is unhappy about the Government’s handling of the crisis and is urging people to sign a petition calling for salons to be allowed to re-open.

She said: “We very much hope to welcome all our clients back soon. Currently, we do not yet have specific information from the Government as to which treatments we can offer.

“We will be continuously monitoring the situation and will make changes where we feel necessary. We stand together with every member of the beauty and spa industry to request an opening date to work towards.

“To dismiss our work as no more than providing a quick non-essential manicure is both insulting and ill-informed. If it is safe for pubs, shops, hairdressers and restaurants to open, then surely salons are safe too.”

Mrs Baudet, who also has a branch in Oxford, says she has already put necessary safety measures in place to re-open. All clients will be asked to wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth. They must also sanitise their hands or wear gloves. Customers may be asked to have a temperature check and anyone above 37.5C will be asked to leave as a precaution.

When they arrive, they will have to wait outside until their stylist is ready. Arrival times will be staggered in an effort to minimise contact and all surfaces in the salon will be regularly cleaned.

Mrs Baudet added: “Our normal salon practice is for therapists to wash their hands between each client and frequently throughout the day. We will continue to strictly follow this process.

“All our staff will be provided with full PPE, including face masks, visors and gloves. This will help prevent contamination where close contact is required and distancing is not possible.

“Our team has undergone training in covid-19 cleaning procedures and advice to reduce risk when travelling to and from work. We will be monitoring their health and wellbeing closely throughout.”

The salon will only be accepting card payments and will not be offering refreshments.

The lockdown came as a blow to Hannah Pirie, who has run Hannah Victoria Nails at Henley Self Storage in Newtown Road since April 2017.

She said: “I started my business from scratch with no clients and it has come a long way. It was definitely getting to a place where I was really happy with it and then all this happened.

“I got a little bit of money from HMRC and a tiny bit from Universal Credit but I haven’t applied for a business grant and I can’t furlough myself.

“It is annoying. Even if the Government said we weren’t allowed to re-open for two months but gave us a date, I wouldn’t mind as much because at least I could get people booked in.

“If we are wearing the masks and gloves then I don’t see why we can’t re-open. I understand I am face-to-face with people but I don’t see how it is different to allowing barbers to re-open.”

Miss Pirie, whose partner Ashley Giles, who owns AKG Men’s Grooming in the same trading unit, has taken the opportunity to decorate her premises.

She added: “I am actually really glad that the lockdown happened, which sounds weird but I have changed my shop around completely and that wouldn’t have happened under normal circumstances.

“As you enter Self Storage there is hand sanitiser and then as you enter my shop there is more of it and you can wash youe hands as well. I have asked people to bring a mask with them, but if not I can provide one. I have to wear a visor.

“I looked into getting a screen but apparently you are better off without it. All the germs get on the screen and you would have to clean it every 15 minutes. I want people to feel as safe as possible.

“When they made the announcement about hairdressers re-opening, some of my clients contacted me and asked if they could book in and I had to tell them that we still weren’t allowed to open and they were a bit gutted.

“Everyone can’t wait. I am just one-to-one, so people might feel safer than the other salons in town where they are quite a few people. You have got to stay positive and I would love to go back to work.”

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