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Business owner fears for future after being left out of latest round of Government easing



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The “inconsistent and unequal” easing of lockdown restrictions has left some Stansted businesses fearing for their future.

As pubs and hairdressers prepare to reopen from Saturday (July 4) in the Government’s latest phase of relaxing the rules, beauty salons, tattoo and piercing studios have to remain closed.

Fiona Younie, who owns Chapel Hill Studio from where she offers body piercing, said she felt extremely disappointed by the decision considering they already operated strict hygiene measures and has called on Stansted’s MP Kemi Badenoch to intervene.

Chapel Hill Studio, Stansted. Tattooist Matt Law and Owner /piercer Fiona Younie are unhappy that they are not allowed to reopen yet. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (37535257)
Chapel Hill Studio, Stansted. Tattooist Matt Law and Owner /piercer Fiona Younie are unhappy that they are not allowed to reopen yet. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (37535257)

“We feel devastated at the moment because it’s getting to the point where I don’t have a firm date to open and I’m wondering whether I will ever be able to. I still have to pay rent and keep my premises going, I have spent a small fortune on PPE and specialist cleaning supplies and yet we cannot open,” she said.

“I don’t really understand why, which is the hardest thing for me. We have had contact tracing in place for years as has tattooist, Matt, who rents the studio with me, we already abide by very high hygiene standards so I just don’t understand the rationale or reasoning behind this decision. I am devastated for the business - it’s everything I have worked so hard for.”

Stansted parish councillor Daniel Brett, who has had tattoos at the studio, labelled the easing measures as “descriminatory”.

Chapel Hill Studio, Stansted. Tattooist Matt Law and Owner /piercer Fiona Younie are unhappy that they are not allowed to reopen yet. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (37535277)
Chapel Hill Studio, Stansted. Tattooist Matt Law and Owner /piercer Fiona Younie are unhappy that they are not allowed to reopen yet. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (37535277)

“Tattooing and piercing requires very high standards of hygiene due to the nature of the work. A good studio like Chapel Hill Studio will meticulously clean before opening, use new disposable gloves for each customer and ensure everything that comes into contact with customers during is wiped down and sterilised. These procedures are standard to prevent tattoos and piercings from becoming infected.

“The unreasonable and arbitrary decision by the government to discriminate against some businesses and not others in this sector has no basis in science.”

Mrs Badenoch said she had spoken with Fiona who had expressed her frustration and upset following the Prime Minister’s recent announcement to re-open some hospitality and leisure venues.

"I appreciate the financial and emotional impact this is having and I have advised I will be sharing the concerns raised with Government and supporting as best I can.

“However, given the news that Leicester is going back into lockdown due to a second local spike, I am sure residents will agree with me that it is vital the Government follow the recommendations by SAGE in the coming weeks, as it has done since the crisis began. I can assure residents that once it is safe to do so, the remaining businesses still closed will be allowed to re-open.

“There are many businesses across the constituency in similar positions that are still being impacted by the restrictions and I would encourage those who may have not used the financial support available from the Government to do so. If you are a local business and need further guidance, please contact me at kemi.badenoch.mp@parliament.uk



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