Salon owner hits out at government over late notice on ban on facial treatments

Co-owners Michelle O’Neill and Mellissa Caiels outside Purity Beauty and Wellness Picture: PURITY B

Co-owners Michelle ONeill and Mellissa Caiels outside Purity Beauty and Wellness Picture: PURITY BEAUTY AND WELLNESS - Credit: Archant

An Ipswich beautician has expressed shock after the government changed its mind about opening up services in their salons – with less than 24 hours’ notice.

Michelle O’Neill, co-owner of Purity Beauty and Wellness in the town’s St Peter’s Street, said salons across the country were preparing to treat their clients to facial, brow and lash treatments.

But Boris Johnson said in a press conference on Friday, July 31, that close contact services would remain barred until at least August 15 as he applied the brakes to plans to ease restrictions further amid worrying signs of an uplift in coronavirus cases.

MORE – Cruise firm plans for maiden trip up the Hudson RiverTreatments such as manicures, massages, pedicures and body waxes have been able to restart - but procedures such as facials and eyebrow threading remained off limits.

The beauty industry was told on July 17 that close contact services could resume from August 1, she said.

Ms O’Neill has written to town MP Tom Hunt to express her concern.

“We were shocked to hear the government’s announcement with less than 24 hours’ notice of when we had clients booked in for face treatments,” she said.

“We understand that due to recent spikes, the government is putting these measures in place.

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“However, we don’t understand how as an industry we have been given very little notice, on now two occasions.

“We were told on July 10 that we could re-open within three days and now we have had less than 24 hours’ notice to cancel clients’ appointments that we have been booking in the for the last two weeks.”

The sudden change had left them unable to plan properly – and the sector now needs financial support, she said.

“As any business owner will know, forecasting is paramount to running a successful business. With such short notice of changes to our services, which take up 70% of our turnover, we simply cannot plan for not only the long term, but also immediate future,” she said.

“It has been a difficult time for all businesses. The support we have received from the government so far has been a great help.

“What we need now though is recognition that we are not able to operate at full capacity, meaning we are not able to meet our financial obligations.”

Ms O’Neill recently joined forces with new co-owner Mellissa Caiels and rebranded the salon. Along with treatments including specialist facials, lashes and permanent hair removal electrolysis, they are also planning to offer a range of treatments including anti-wrinkles injections, fillers, semi-permanent make-up and specialist massage techniques.

“We look forward to getting back to doing what we love again. It has been amazing treating so many of our lovely clients over the past two weeks. Now we need to know we have the financial backing of the government to support us through this time,” said Ms O’Neill.

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