Tattoo artists of NSW come forward with COVID-19 safety plan – The Brag

Image: Instagram / Ryan Usher of Lighthouse Tattoo

As NSW begins to lift restrictions following COVID-19 lockdowns, tattoo artists of NSW have been left in the dark as to when they can expect to return to work.

While Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced that tattoo parlours may return to trade from June 1, and Queensland allowed to trade from Friday, June 12th when the state enters its Stage Two lockdown phase, NSW artists are yet to know when they can commence work despite beauty, waxing, nail salons and cosmetic tattooing being able to operate from Monday, June 1st.

Mr. Gareth Parry, NSW State representative of the industries peak body the Australian Tattooists Guild, said in a statement:

We are seeing the opening up of small businesses similar to tattoo studios across some states in Australia and we want to ensure that the tattoo industry is not left behind when it comes to these decisions, some States appear to be including the tattoo industry in a progressive way while others are not.

Rather than slip through the cracks, the ATG have come up with their own safety guidelines in response to the gradual easing of restrictions, which has since been shared among the NSW tattoo artist community in the hopes that the government will sit up and take note.

In line with other industry bodies who have developed their own COVID safety plans and successfully lobbied the NSW government to get their industries re-opened, the ATG has done the same in a bid to get the tattoo industry open again in NSW, the Instagram post shared by Botanys Lighthouse Tattoo read, as they urged others to share the message.

And while the ongoing loss of work has been a source of financial strain for tattoo artists throughout the COVID-19 restrictions, Lighthouse Tattoo artist Lorren Norrie explained that, combined with no definite date to reopen for NSW parlours, artists have found the situation significantly impacting their mental health.

Its been heart breaking to say the least, she said. Ive been checking in with all my tattooer friends and every single one has had a least one or two weeks of really bad mental health. Everything from being really sad, to some even selling their cars to pay the studio rent.

She goes on to explain that tattoo parlours already implement strict health regulations regardless, saying, We already use PPE [personal protective equipment] and have all the hospital grade cleaners and equipment needed to keep our workplaces safe.

Given that the beauty industry has been given the green light, now seems like a safe and responsible time to be pushing for tattooing to re-open, she added.

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Tattoo artists of NSW come forward with COVID-19 safety plan - The Brag