Nail salons and beauty clinics in the Northern Territory will reopen from mid-May, but the rest of Australia might have to wait until July for services to resume.
In announcing his exit strategy from the coronavirus lockdown on April 30, NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said all businesses within the beauty industry that don’t involve facial services could reopen from May 15.
Any treatments that involve the face, as well as laser hair removal, cosmetic surgery and tattoo parlours, will reopen on June 5, however physical distancing rules of 1.5 metres will still be in place.
While the exact date for other states to begin offering eyebrow waxes and fresh spray tans is still unknown, infectious disease specialist from Griffith University, Professor Nigel McMillan, said the industry was still ‘high risk’.
‘Each individual health authority will decide for itself what risk profile it wants to take,’ Prof McMillan told FEMAIL.
Women pictured at Le Nails Day Spa in Double Bay, Sydney, just before the lockdown on March 25 came into effect
Hairdressers and barbers are allowed to remain open so long as they observe strict social distancing rules (pictured in the Eastern Suburbs, Sydney before March 25)
‘We know, for example, someone in the oral health industry has an increased risk of getting coronavirus because of that human-to-human contact. If you look now at the states, each state has taken different rafts to let loose on, depending on the risk.
‘Every job where there is close personal contact involved is increasing the risk, and that includes beauty.’
Salons around the country have been closed since the federal government banned all beauty parlours except hairdressers and barbers on March 25.
While it’s good news for those living in the Top End, Australians in other states are likely going to be waiting until July 1 for their hair, nail and skin treatments to be made available.
When were beauty therapies shuttered?
The Public Health (COVID-19 Restrictions on Gathering and Movement) Order 2020 required certain premises to close, including spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours or massage parlours on March 25.
Hairdressers and barbers were allowed to stay open so long as they observe strict physical social distancing of 1.5 metres and spread out customers in the store.
The order was a move to reduce the spread of COVID-19, which can easily pass between humans through close contact.
This order did not apply to premises offering health services.
A health service includes optical dispensing, dietitian, massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, speech therapy, audiology and audiometry service.
Source: NSW Health
In the Northern Territory, women will be allowed to visit their favourite nail salon from May 15
Australian women were no longer allowed to visit a laser hair removal clinic, so have been using at-home lasers to get the job down (pictured is one called Happy Skin Co)
That date was set by NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on April 2, when he said the state’s tough coronavirus enforcement laws would expire in 90 days. At the time, he said there would be no extension.
Meanwhile Health Minister Greg Hunt told ABC’s Insiders program on March 15 that ‘we view this as a six-month window for Australia’, bringing the reopening of major public services as a whole closer to September.
Despite the dangers involved, technicians and clinic owners are keen to pick up their tools again, with GoFundMe pages petitioning the government to allow workers to treat one client at a time under strict hygiene conditions.
Publisher of Professional Beauty magazine, Glenn Silburn, told FEMAIL there appeared to be ‘no consensus’ around when therapists could resume operations.
Women are still enjoying haircuts and colours during the coronavirus, however they are wearing masks and observing good hand hygiene
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 6,754
New South Wales: 3,016
Western Australia: 551
South Australia: 438
Australian Capital Territory: 106
Northern Territory: 28
TOTAL CASES: 6,754
He said: ‘We are willing it to happen sooner rather than later but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether it would be July or even September’.
Owner of Eternal Summer by Kel, Kelly Steinhauer, operated a successful mobile tanning and nail salon before the lockdowns came into place in NSW.
Ms Steinhauer is hoping because she treats her customers one-on-one in their homes that she might be permitted to start working before larger companies who operate out of shopping centres.
‘I still get 10 to 15 people calling me a day asking if they can get something done,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘I put together some $20 acrylic nail removal kits when the industry was shut down, so ladies could safely remove their nails, and sold 300 in a week.
Nail artists commonly wear surgical masks to perform their work, but this has been heightened during the coronavirus (pictured)
Owner of Eternal Summer by Kel, Kelly Steinhauer (pictured), operated a successful mobile tanning and nail salon before the lockdowns came into place in NSW
‘So I could leverage my own income for a little bit but things have quietened down since.’
Ms Steinhauer said she has been calling Sydney-based politicians and asked when they thought the restrictions would be reversed, but no one could give her an answer.
From Friday May 1 NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has eased social gathering restrictions, allowing two adults from one household to visit another household.
Ms Steinhauer said that technically her work involved one adult visiting another household, just as the relaxed rules indicate, but that her industry is still shut.
DIY BEAUTY TRICKS THAT WORK:
Acrylic nails need to be tended to every three weeks to avoid looking overgrown
HOW TO REMOVE FAKE NAILS:
If you’ve just had varnish applied to your fingernails or toenails by a technician, fear not, this can simply be taken off with alcohol-based nail polish remover when it starts to chip.
A nail technician posted in The Makeup Social with a foolproof method to removing SNS and acrylic nails.
To start with you must hand file the top clear coat of nail varnish off first. Then fill a metal or ceramic bowl with just enough acetone to cover your nails.
Soak them in the mixture for a minimum of 15 minutes. When you pull them out the nails should look ‘gooey’ and melted, if they don’t, you haven’t taken enough of the clear top layer off.
‘Now buff the nails as much as you can until it becomes too hard to get off,’ she said.
Repeat the soaking and buffing procedure until there is no acrylic, gel or SNS lacquer on your nail, although it’s important to buff slowly to reduce the damage to your natural nail.
His $299 device works in the same way the in-clinic laser treatments do but can be done at home (Tammy Hembrow pictured)
HOW TO USE AT-HOME LASER HAIR REMOVAL
A simple way to continue removing hair is to invest in a portable machine, like the $299 device created by entrepreneur Dylan Mullan called Happy Skin Co.
The handsets work because the light energy from IPL is absorbed by the melanin in the hair, which then turns to heat and destroys the hair cells.
‘Most people will see complete results by the time they’ve completed their 12th session, so long as they zap the area once a week. At this point, hair generally stops growing completely however this doesn’t mean it will never grow back,’ Mr Mullan told FEMAIL.
HOW TO WAX AT HOME:
You can make your own body wax using sugar, water and lemon juice.
Combine a cup of sugar, a quarter of a cup of water and a quarter of a cup of lemon juice in a hot saucepan.
After giving it a good stir, let the concoction boil for five to seven minutes, at which point its texture changes into a thicker, honey-like substance.
Pour the mixture into a bowl and allow it to become cool to touch – which usually takes between 10 and 20 minutes.
Then smear it onto an area and pull it back off against the grain of the hair.
HOW TO FAKE TAN AT HOME:
While you’d normally spend $25-$30 visiting a professional salon, you can purchase products like Isle of Paradise ($39), Bondi Sands ($17-$20) and Eco Tan ($34.95) that can be used upwards of eight times over.
Social researcher Mark McCrindle
‘If I could go and get my temperature checked to ensure I didn’t have coronavirus, would I then be allowed to go to someone else’s house?’ She said.
‘While the 1.5 metre distancing rule exists it’s going to be very difficult for beauty therapists to start working again.’
Social researcher Mark McCrindle told FEMAIL mobile business owners like Kelly Steinhauer are better placed to start working soon because her job involves only one-on-one contact.
‘Sitting in waiting rooms will cause anxiety or even heading into large, public shopping centres. Mobile services will definitely be better placed for this reason,’ he said.
Mr McCrindle said Australians were very good about going into a ‘self-imposed’ lockdown even before the federal government restrictions were announced in March, which will make returning to normal life slower for some.
‘We saw first-hand the impact of COVID-19 on other countries and sheltered ourselves earlier than was mandated,’ he said.
‘There will definitely be early adopters, particularly young people, who might be more focused on the beauty industry and how their peers view them.
‘But to be told for three months not to touch your face and then allow someone else to touch it… it seems like a stretch for others.’
Mr McCrindle said Australians might ‘fear’ getting their beauty treatments done in large shopping centres because it would involve coming into contact with more people
Nail salons will not be able to perform waxing until June as part of the Northern Territory’s relaxed beauty rules
With plenty of regular Aussies resorting to DIY face masks, laser hair removal kits and supermarket waxing strips during the beauty shutdown, Mr McCrindle believes some women might continue opting for the financially-friendly approach.
That is, unless they have been saving their money in a ‘reemergence-type budget’, in which case resuming their regular beauty treatments will be a welcome gift during these uncertain times.
‘Businesses will just have to manage their fears of being out in public, around lots of people,’ he said.
While March 25 put a temporary end to spas, nail salons, beauty salons, waxing salons, tanning salons, tattoo parlours and massage parlours, there were a number of ‘essential health services’ that have been able to stay open during this time.
This includes optical dispensing – or seeing an optometrist – dietitian, massage therapy, naturopathy, acupuncture, speech therapy, audiology and audiometry service.
The national cabinet is due to meet on May 11 to discuss any country-wide changes to the lockdown and distancing restrictions, so it will likely be then that beauty therapists will have a clearer understanding of when they can open again.
WHAT RESTRICTIONS HAVE BEEN LIFTED THIS WEEK?
* Any beauty industry treatments that don’t involve the face can reopen from May 15.
* Any treatments that involve the face, as well as laser hair removal, cosmetic surgery and tattoo parlours, will reopen on June 5, however physical distancing rules of 1.5 metres will still be in place.
* From Friday, residents will be able to visit parks and reserves, as long as they maintain social distancing.
* The territory plans to reopen cafés, pubs and restaurants in June.
* The state has eased several restrictions, and is crucially allowing groups of up to ten people at outdoor and indoor gatherings.
* Residents can leave home for what officials call ‘non-contact recreational activities’, including picnics, fishing, boating, hiking and camping.
* State borders are remaining shut.
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
* There have been no changes to social guidelines in ACT, with its chief minister Andrew Barr saying lifting restrictions was ‘not a race or a contest’.
* On May 1 there will be an announcement to decide whether restrictions will ease in the coming weeks.
* The state, which has enjoyed its fifth consecutive day with no new COVID-19 cases, has not lifted any distancing laws.
* But the kind seen in Victoria, NSW and WA were never imposed in the first place.
* SA never enforced a two-person rule, but ‘strongly discouraged’ gatherings of more than two people. National parks are also open for locals to visit.
* Residents can meet with more than two people as long as they social distancing of 1.5 metres, while gatherings of more than 10 people are banned.
* Tasmania is also not planning to ease any social restrictions for some time, with the reopening of non-essential retail in the island’s north-west pushed back.
* The state adopted similar measures to Victoria and NSW, and is keeping in place a ban on leaving the home for non-essential reasons.
* Gatherings are still limited to two people, but indoors and outdoors.
* The Queensland state border is still closed, meaning people cannot travel in and out.
* But those already in the state will now be allowed a family picnic, a weekend drive or even a jet ski, with national parks open from Saturday.
* Residents can travel up to 50km from their home to do so, but must still practice social distancing and stay away from crowded areas.
NEW SOUTH WALES
* Two adults, and their children, will be able to travel anywhere in the state from Friday, but only to visit another household or for essential reasons.
* It does not mean people can gather in groups outside of the home, or be outside for non-essential reasons, but can spend time at another person’s house.
* In Victoria, the state government is remaining prudent and has not announced any relaxation of lockdown laws, and will instead review them on May 11.
* This is when the state of emergency ends, and also when the national cabinet is meeting to discuss any country-wide changes to the rules.