A decision to loosen COVID-19 restrictions on beauty salon operations has sparked confusion within the industry.

The NSW government announced on the weekend beauty salons can open to sell retail products and mobile beauty services were also given the green light.

Mobile services can operate where they are not in the service provider’s home provided social distancing is followed when visiting a client’s home.

Beauty therapists are still not permitted to provide beauty services from retail locations.

Shellharbour beautician Aimee Wren said she struggled to see logic in the decision.

“I think the point is minimising people in an area but the way I see it is it’s all about cleanliness and keeping your distance. You’re still going to that person’s place and touching their face,” the Soul Brow and Makeup Studio owner said.

“I don’t see what the difference is in performing that treatment in a house or in a sterile salon environment.”

The relaxed restrictions also mean beauty salons can open for retail sales from a business premises, small retail outlet or from a private home.

Ms Wren has not opened her salon for retail sales and cannot conduct mobile services without the required qualifications.

“We prefer to sell our vouchers and products online, so we’re not sitting in an empty salon waiting for someone to come in as well,” she said.

“You do need certain licenses or certificates to go and do this (mobile service). For us, our salon is on a premise, so we don’t need that type of certificate. So, we can’t just go and perform mobile services.”


Hair Establishment owner Talia Barr said she had to stop beauty services in her hair salon.

“Despite being open, we can only perform our hair services,” the Kieraville businesswoman said.

“Having a staff member perform beauty services out of the salon wouldn’t be profitable as it would take business away from the salon.”

The NSW government updated its COVID-19 website over the weekend and it was amended three times after beauticians called the government’s hotline to gain further clarity, according to ABC Illawarra.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the NSW Government relaxed the rules to help businesses benefit from Mother’s Day.

“As we head towards Mother’s Day, this exemption will give smaller businesses a boost as it puts them on an even footing with larger retailers already selling beauty and personal care goods,” Mr Hazzard said in a statement.

“For small business owners in rural and regional areas, the pre-Mother’s Day sale is a big part of their annual profits and will help those who are already doing it tough due to drought and bushfires. It means they can put their ‘open’ sign in windows again.”