BEAUTICIANS demanding 'bring beauty back' staged a protest in Chippenham this morning.

The make-up artists, eye lash and brow technicians are unhappy that while some salons have opened for nails and some other treatments many specialist beauticians have not been able to return.

Among those protesting was lash and brow technician Teri Griffiths, 34, who has not been able to operate for five months and did not qualify for a Government grant.

She said: "I am a single mum with three children. I am self-employed and work from home but have not earned any money since March. We still do not know when we will be allowed to open. The products we use have a very short shelf life so what we had can't now be used and we have to find the money to order new stock.

"But as we don't know when we can open we cannot get ready."

Chippenham MP Michelle Donelan has agreed to visit one of the affected Chippenham salons on Tuesday and has shown support for the campaign to get a definite opening date.

So far all the Government has said is that will not be before August 15.

Others taking part in the protest at The Buttercross included Holly Andersen and Marie Kelly. Both specialise in make-up and hair packages for special occasions and say they have lost thousands of pounds of income.

The protest was organised by Lash technician Alexandra Gillespie, who is a single mum with two young children, and also did not qualify for any government grants.

She said: “It is really unfair how further last minute restrictions on the beauty industry are stopping us from working.”

Alexandra, 33, who lives in Chippenham, set up her business Amber’s Lashes and Brows two years ago.

Alexandra said: “Everything we do is very, very safe. We are all trained and know how to keep our clients safe.”

The government allowed hairdressers and some beauty salons to open on July 4 but a number of treatments were still banned. Such ‘high risk settings’ include close contact beauty services, such as facials and eyebrow threading.

The government guidelines say: “No treatments are to be provided on the face until government advice changes.”

They are particularly unhappy as originally Boris Johnson indicated they would be able to open last Saturday, August 1.

But during the Prime Minister’s coronavirus update two days before the proposed opening date it was announced that the government has postponed the reopening of ‘higher risk settings.’

He said: “We should now squeeze that brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control”.

Millie Kendall, chief executive of the British Beauty Council, said: “I am incredibly disappointed by this news, and these last minute announcements are devastating for our sector. This will further impact us financially and morally.”