As some industries prepare to reopen as coronavirus restrictions ease, beauticians feel they have been left behind.
Warrnambool's Anushka Brows & Beauty shut its doors in March following the direction of the state government. It was an emotional time for owner Rhiarna Sharma who was forced to stand down her three staff members.
Mrs Sharma said in the two months since she closed shop she had lost up to 90 per cent of her income yet still had close to $40,000 in rent and bills to pay.
"It's a really tough time in the beauty industry and I think there's a great deal of anxiety as there has been no date given to us and no indication of when we can reopen in order to prepare ourselves," she said.
"It's really difficult to plan financially when nothing has stopped payment-wise. Our rent is still due, we still have to pay our bills, rates, tax and superannuation. It's never ending."
Mrs Sharma said it was difficult watching other industries slowly return to normal life when beauty salons remained shut with no word on when they could reopen.
"It's a really tricky situation and what confuses us the most is that other businesses like hairdressers and remedial massage have been able to remain open despite having that physical contact," she said.
"Beauty would have to be one of the cleanest industries in Australia. We wear completely sterile clothes, aprons and masks, and we completely sanitise everything after each use."
Mrs Sharma, who offers cosmetic tattooing at her salon, said she had been fully trained in infection control well before the pandemic.
"We were already one of the most hygienic places you could think of, so for us if we re-open, changes aren't going to be massive," she said.
The hospitality industry was recently given the green light to reopen to diners from June 1.
Mrs Sharma said she wished beauticians also had a time frame to work towards.
"It is currently really hard to plan ahead," she said.
"I'm lucky that being open for three years, we have a bit of a backing. We can hopefully reopen but I feel for the smaller salons who haven't had enough time to get some financial backing for their business and might not be able to come back from this."
Mrs Sharma said she had continued to pay her staff and was still waiting for the JobKeeper Payment Scheme to come through from the government.
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