Mark Boyle at work at a DABS Tattoo fundraising day for the RAF Benevolent Fund, Macmillan and the British Lung Foundation. Photo by Fraser Brown

Business owners in Southport are delighted by tonight’s news that tattoo parlours, tanning salons, gyms and nail bars will be allowed to reopen this month. 

Tanning salons, tattoo parlours and other so-called ‘close contact services’ will be allowed to welcome back customers from Monday although face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials will not be allowed.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden set out the latest easing of lockdown rules as he said people can head back to the gym from July 25.

The news was welcomed by firms in Southport. 

Lisa Booth, co-owner of DABS Tattoo, a tattoo and piercing shop on Eastbourne Road in Southport, said: “We are looking to reopen some time next week 

“We need to make sure there are no further restrictions before we can open but we have got loads of great gadgets and safety improvements so it is as safe as we can make it.

“We had to cancel about 90 appointments as we have got six artists now so we need to contact them all and then answer the 100 plus messages we have had!

“We have put in a new skylight for air flow as the back room has no windows. We have Antibacterial Air Filters in each room along with hands free dispensers for soap and hand gel, and a UV sterilisation unit for phones and cash.

Read More: £10 off meals at restaurants and pubs as Southport BID urges people to dine to help local firms

“We have a room UV sterilisation system, arm covers, aprons, gloves, masks and visors, bed covers, our own track and trace system, multi contact points to make sure clients are well before and after their appointments and our usual hygiene practices on steroids!

We will be in touch with everyone who was booked in to offer new dates

“We will then go through all the messages and emails to book in anyone who has enquired about an appointment

“Please bear with us – as much as we have wanted a date to reopen we haven’t been given a lot of notice and the safety of our staff and artists and clients is the priority.

“Thanks for all your lovely comments and messages – it’s great to know you’ve missed us and we will be back as safe as possible as soon as we can.”

Karolina Kaminska, who runs R&K Miami Tanning Studio on Eastbank Street in Southport, said: “I am so so excited!

“I have been waiting very long to reopen my shop. I miss my customers so much and I am very very happy that we are trying to get back to our normal life.

“The shop is prepared well for the current situation and we will do our best to protect staff and our customers.

“We always put attention on cleaning and disinfection. We have recently added extra screen protection for our reception desk, while our staff will be wearing face masks and full face cover visors and gloves. We put directions on our floor for customers to follow. 

“Our staff will be very helpful as always!”

RK Tanning Salon on Eastbank Street in Southport

R&K Miami Tanning Studio on Eastbank Street in Southport

Speaking at a Downing Street press conference this evening, Oliver Dowden said outdoor swimming pools can reopen on Saturday as he also published guidance to enable competitive grassroots team sports to resume, beginning with cricket this weekend. 

Outdoor arts performances – including theatres, opera, dance and music – will also be able to resume from Saturday although audience numbers will be restricted and will be subject to social distancing rules.  

A pilot programme will be launched to figure out how to return to socially distanced indoor performances ‘as soon as possible’, Mr Dowden said. 

Mr Dowden said ‘normal life is slowly returning’, telling the press conference: “Having allowed hairdressers to reopen, beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close contact services can now do the same, I’m pleased to say, from Monday.

“Of course that will be subject to some restrictions on particularly high-risk services.”

Mr Dowden said the July 25 reopening date for gyms would also see indoor swimming pools and leisure centres allowed to get back up and running. 

He said fitness is ‘incredibly important for both physical and mental health’ as he outlined the Government’s plans to get people back in the gym. 

“Even at the height of the lockdown it was considered an essential activity with countless people hitting their parks for their daily run or transforming their living rooms into temporary gyms,” he said. 

“Our fight began with a collective effort and I really hope it will end with one. At the beginning we all stayed at home to protect the NHS and save lives, now the British public has a new part to play. 

“It’s time to eat out to help out, to enjoy the arts to help out and to work out to help out. It’s over to all of you to help the country recover safely.”

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