BEAUTY therapists get back to work today (July 22) as studios reopen after 17 weeks.
Salon owners had an anxious wait as the Scottish Government considered what new safety guidelines ought to be introduced to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus.
But industry figures were delighted to learn that – unlike their counterparts over the border – they will be able to offer treatments on the face, so long as therapists stand to the side or back of the client’s head.
“I was so relieved, I actually cried,” said Alana Grant, owner of Borders Beauty Studio in Galashiels, adding: “Over 80 per cent of our treatments are on the face.”
The business, which during lockdown relocated from Bank Street to Market Street, was concerned that similar restrictions to England would be imposed.
Miss Grant said: “A number of our treatments are on the face, so we probably couldn’t open if not allowed to provide these treatments.
“Every day I was checking the guidelines and speaking with other shop owners in the Borders and in Edinburgh.”
Masks, visors, aprons, gloves and perspex dividers will be used at Borders Beauty Studio, with stations being deep-cleaned after use.
And over and above the requested measures, Miss Grant and her team will be testing the temperatures of customers on arrival, using a contactless thermometer.
Customers will be encouraged to use hand-washing and sanitising stations when entering and exiting the shop.
Miss Grant told the Border Telegraph she was pleased to have been able to furlough all her staff, meaning all have been retained – therapists and reception staff alike – as the studio reopens.
Reflecting on her journey over recent months, Miss Grant said: “It was a very worrying time. In the first initial month we didn’t know what was going to happen.
“Our waiting list is pages long, and having that when we were closed really helped us to know we’d have an income when we reopened.
“Our first two weeks are fully booked, and the first couple of months we’ll definitely have clients.
“Because we’re taking 10 minutes to clean between appointments, and have staggered appointments, we will lose some money. But anything is better than being closed.”
The studio has also prepared an explanatory video for customers before arrival, giving them a virtual walkthrough of what to expect when they visit in the coming weeks.
Clients are shown the sanitising process, where they will store their belongings during appointments and the payment process.
“Customers will be able to relax because it’s a safe place,” Miss Grant added.
“I know I feel anxious when in a new place and you’re unsure of the rules.”
Beauty salons and other close-contact businesses are reopening as part of phase three of the Scottish Government’s route map out of lockdown.
Salons were first told to close their doors in March.