BEAUTY salon owners in Malvern say they are frustrated by the government’s last-minute decision not to allow them to carry out facial treatments.

Beauticians in the district were all set to welcome back customers for services such as eyebrow and eyelash treatments on Saturday August 1 but, just one day before, Prime Minister Boris Johnson pulled the plug, announcing that the easing of restrictions would be postponed for “at least a fortnight”.

This left salon staff rushing to cancel appointments and put staff who were due to return back on furlough.

Christine Wood, who owns The Beauty Spot in Bellevue Terrace, Malvern, said: “I had to cancel appointments on Saturday for brows and waxing after hearing the government’s announcement at lunchtime the day before.

“I felt sickened when I watched the announcement – it gave me very little notice.

“Treatments are not a luxury – for many they are essential. If you think of someone with lots of hair on the face, this is essential for the person’s self-esteem.

“My customers have stayed loyal and have still supported me by booking for treatments which are still allowed, so I’m thankful for that. I understand the government does not want a second wave so I’m also sympathetic on that point too.”

Emily Edwards, of Malvern Hills Beauty in West Malvern Road, was also frustrated by the Prime Minister's last minute U-turn on allowing facial treatments.

“The government didn’t give me much notice and I feel frustrated when I look at shops and pubs, with lots of people in close contact, whereas in our industry we are very strict," she said.

“I understand the face is a ‘high risk’ area, but could a client not have an eyebrow wax as long as she is wearing a face mask?”

Rebecca Maybanks, of Orchid Pure Beauty in Leigh Sinton Road, said: “It is what it is and I have to make the best of it. The government has to go off the evidence they’re given and I’m sure they gave us all as much notice as possible. Boris did say at the start that decisions would have to be made in the future as the situation changes.

“I’ve cancelled appointments and my business is planned around the income from facials and eyebrow waxing but let’s hope it doesn’t go on for too much longer.”

“I feel the government will get criticised whatever it does and is in a difficult situation.”

Kate Barton, who runs Hebe Healthy Beauty in Madresfield Road, said: “It was short notice and I had to scramble around calling all my clients. It was not long after I had re-opened and was starting to build the business back up.

“But the Government needs to keep on top of the pandemic, keeping everyone safe and distanced.”