‘50 per cent of beauticians operating’ during virus ban
A beautician says rogue operators in her industry have gone underground and are still operating despite the government's decision to close beauty salons to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The woman - who did not want to be named - said it was devastating to watch other operators flourish after she'd been forced to close her business due to the government ban.
"I think it's very common. I'd say 50 per cent of those in the industry are working to some degree," she said.
"I feel like it's stealing from those of us who are doing the right thing."
The beautician said nails and lashes were the most popular services being sought out by desperate clients.
"When it comes to nails and lashes, it's more than just a luxury for some women. It's very much self care," she said.
"It's the one thing they do to keep them pepped up, it's for their self esteem and mental health. It's everything for our women having their nails done, and they genuinely freak out if they can't get them done."
The woman said she had seen people regularly seeking out service providers online despite the government ban.
"I'm seeing everywhere, technicians and beauty therapists getting countless messages from new clients saying 'do you work from home? I'll just say I'm visiting'," she said.
"And they're desperate. Desperate. And so many people are doing it under the table."
Since she was forced to close her business when the ban came into effect last month, the woman said she was losing the battle to pay her family's expenses.
"I've got no savings. No holiday pay. My husband still works but it's not even covering a third of the bills," she said.
While it was tempting to join the ranks of those flouting the law, the woman said she would struggle through until she was able to legally operate her business again.
"Aside from the fact I don't have any money to pay fines, you just don't know who's been in contact with who. It's just not worth the risk. It's infuriating because you think 'oh, I could just have this person in and that might be enough for food this week' but we just don't do it," she said.
"This isn't about us anymore, this is about the country."
Originally published as 'Fifty per cent of beauticians still operating' despite virus ban