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Sensibly Re-open the Beauty Industry
According to the Australian Industry and Skills Committee, “…the hairdressing and beauty sub-sectors together generated revenue of $6.5 billion in 2018, and collectively employed 120,700 workers.” Many of these are small businesses employing qualified local talent, some have grown into substantial employers and all form a valuable part of our communities. Our industry was shut down in one of the first rounds of necessary government actions to contain COVID-19. This was a sensible action aimed at saving lives and protecting the health of professionals in our industry and our valuable clients. As more information is made publicly available, it has become apparent that an easing of some restrictions may be on the agenda for the National Cabinet. Even prior to the outbreak, our industry adhered to strict hygiene measures, including thorough cleaning of equipment, disinfecting of surfaces and the best practice protections that our clients have come to expect. Additionally, our business model limits the number of people in a treatment room at any time and many of our treatments, such as laser hair removal, do not require close contact with the facial region. Given the strict adherence to hygienic practices, and the additional lessons learned from the COVID-19 experience, we propose that the beauty industry is well placed to reopen for business and be considered for the first round of re-openings, when the relevant medical authorities deem it appropriate. We completely appreciate that the health of Australians, and the eradication of this virus must be the focus, but we also stress that our industry can be regarded as a much lower risk than many others. Finally, I am sure you would agree that this crisis has been stressful on all of us. Besides opening a portion of the economy, a reinvigorated beauty industry would bring a sense of normality back to many people in the community.