Bring the COVID-19 restrictions on beauty into alignment with hair and retail.

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Everyone, we did it!!

The Andrews government has just announced that the restrictions in relation to beauty have been brought into alignment with hair! This is an incredible outcome and it couldn’t have been achieved without everyone’s incredible support. A special thanks to our friends, family and other businesses in the beauty industry that have assisted us and also spearheaded their own campaigns. We couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this incredible community!

Well done everyone!

Katelyn & Amer 
Laser Skin & Body

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Dear Premier
 
We write to you with the interest of Skin Clinics, Cosmetic Nurses, Beauty Therapists and Victorians at large, at heart. Our industry, Beauty, represents thousands of workers and business owners in this State, the majority of whom are women. 
 
We submit that our industry is being treated unfairly.  You state that Victoria’s Coronavirus policies are driven by science and data. However, to date, there have been no Coronavirus outbreaks linked to our industry.  The closure of our industry has been based upon unscientific surface-level speculation.
 
Our industry operates under medical-level sanitation and hygiene protocols.  We wear gloves.  We wear masks.  We disinfect all touch points and all equipment after each use.  These protocols have been in place long before the pandemic came to our State and will continue to be upheld long after it passes.
 
Our industry was a substantial driver of our economy, representing over $6.5 billion in annual revenue nationally.  Our industry is now suffocating.  We have been paralysed for months.  Unlike other industries, we have not been able to trade with a reduced operational capacity.  We cannot provide ‘take-away’ treatments.  We are, simply and categorically, shut.
 
From the perspective of regional Victoria, the roadmap announced by your Government on 6 September 2020 allows hair salons to trade, whilst mandating that we stay shut until 23 November 2020 at the earliest.  This is a radical difference and calls for a rigorous, science-based explanation. 
 
However, on 6 September 2020, the Chief Health Officer conceded that there was no science-based explanation for the polarised treatment of hair and beauty.  Professor Sutton declared, on behalf of your government, that beauty was simply less essential than hair.  This commentary, in the absence of any scientific delineation, is gendered.  It is an indictment on a female-dominant industry and a female-dominant client base.
 
Treatments administered by our professionals cultivate self-esteem and self-confidence.  Amongst other things, we administer treatments that assist with migraines, reduce excess sweating, treat painful ailments of the skin and even digestion.  We treat conditions that affect the self-esteem and mental health of thousands of Victorian women, as well as men.  Respectfully, our treatments are not ‘less essential’ for the thousands of women that we help.
 
The data supports our industry reopening in line with hair and retail.  The epidemiology of this virus within the Eastern Sea Border supports this.  New South Wales and Queensland report daily Coronavirus cases, but transmission is not occurring in our industry.  The risk you say our industry bears, it simply does not. 
 
We implore you, Premier, to re-evaluate your position in respect of our industry and emulate the approach taken in New South Wales and Queensland.  We appreciate the immense difficulty in balancing the easing of restrictions.  We agree that the health of Victorians is the paramount consideration.  Our business is the health and wellbeing of thousands of women.  That means that you must reconsider the approach canvassed on 6 September 2020.
 
We do not accept that the approach canvassed in the ‘roadmap to recovery’ is appropriate.  It is not justified by the epidemiology of this virus.  Our industry deserves to be treated fairly.  There is no justification not to.  As such, we request that the rules for the reopening of beauty be brought into alignment with retail and hair without further delay.

Yours sincerely,

Laser Skin & Body