The boss of a leading Carlisle aesthetics clinic has spoken of her anger that the Government says her business cannot re-open.

The easing of the lockdown this week will see hairdressers open along with pubs, cinemas and restaurants – but beauty businesses such as Carlisle-based VL Aesthetics will have to remain shut.

Managing director Vanessa Brown has spent weeks with her staff planning to re-open, assuming that it would happen along with hairdressers. Her company was fully booked in July.

Vanessa had invested in screens for the reception area along with PPE and hand-sanitising stations. She has also worked with her team to carry out risk assessments for each treatment and has a detailed plan to ensure social distancing for customers.

Now she says it would be perfectly safe for VL Aesthetics to re-open and says the business has been left in limbo by the Government’s latest guidance on easing the lockdown.

She said: “I really can’t see the logic allowing other businesses such as hairdressers to re-open, but not a beauty clinic like us.

“Even before coronavirus we had clinical standards of cleanliness here, with staff wearing PPE like gloves and masks for most treatments.

“We invested a lot of money to make things as safe as possible with a screen at reception and we’ve had training for the whole team.

“It’s normal for us to have high hygiene standards, so I just can’t understand why we can’t re- open – it’s a huge disappointment for me and all our staff.

“I am happy we can lobby for a quick change to this absurd decision through our industry and I’ll be raising it with Carlisle MP John Stevenson too,” she added.

VL Aesthetics staff had developed detailed plans to reassure customers that would have included clients waiting in their cars to be invited into the building, staggered appointments and daily deep cleaning for every aspect of the business.

Customers were also being asked to complete a medical risk assessment before appointments are confirmed. VL Aesthetics offers a wide range of treatments including laser hair removal, fat reduction, medical facials, injectables and massages as well as treatments for skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.

During the lockdown the firm's staff have been offering online consultations and keeping in touch with calling customers to offer support and advice. The company has also been educating customers on various treatments through Instagram and Facebook Live sessions.

VL Aesthetics is shortlisted as a finalist in this year’s Professional Beauty Awards.