Letchworth tattoo studio owner says industry feels ‘left behind’ by lockdown relaxations

No Morals Tattoos on Leys Avenue, in Letchworth. Picture: Google

No Morals Tattoos on Leys Avenue, in Letchworth. Picture: Google - Credit: Archant

The owner of a Letchworth tattoo studio has slammed the ‘double standards’ of the government’s lockdown restrictions, as studios across the country still wait to be told when they can reopen.

Alice Johnson, of No Morals Tattoos – in Leys Avenue – is furious with the government who have not given any further guidance on the future of parlours, studios, nail salons and spas – despite allowing hairdresser’s to reopen on July 4.

“We haven’t received any information at all,” Alice said. “I really don’t understand the logic in reopening bars and pubs, which won’t be able to enforce social distancing at all after people have had a few beers.

“It’s crazy to me that we, in such a controlled and sterile environment, aren’t allowed to reopen. We are appointment based and already use extensive PPE like aprons, arm sleeves, facemasks and gloves.”

Alice said she has been in regular touch with NHDC’s environmental health department, and contacted North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald – who has taken her questions to the health secretary.

She said there are “plenty of safeguarding measures” studios can also put in place, such as “not tattooing from the shoulders up,” or only doing leg tattoos.

Alice also feels for businesses such as nail salons and spas, which are in a similar situation and have also not been told when they can reopen.

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“If the government has been told that our businesses are too dangerous, then I want to see this research, because I see no difference between us and hairdressers,” she said.

Alice said that in the House of Commons on Tuesday, a question was put to the Prime Minister about when spas can reopen, and she said that Boris Johnson “fobbed the question off with a light-hearted joke”.

“It’s infuriarating that he’s making comedy about a situation which is affecting people’s jobs and livelihoods,” she added.

“If we have to wait much longer, we have to look at whether it might even be viable to reopen – this is not a joke.”

No Morals received the £10,000 grant – like many others – but Alice has had to use her savings to keep the business afloat during the pandemic.

She is now campaigning for a fresh grant scheme to help businesses that have been told they still can’t reopen.