When can we book in for beauty treatments again?

Words by Sally Edwards

A state-by-state guide to the reopening of Australia’s spas and salons.

As Australia enters its 60th day of a national shutdown, our lack of interaction with the outside, pre-pandemic world is taking its toll, and for some of us it’s showing.

In the past week, I’ve cut my roommate’s hair with a pair of kitchen scissors, sliced a gap into my own eyebrow trying to trim it (again, with the kitchen scissors), and my adolescent skin has made a fiery return.

But with ScoMo today announcing a cabinet-approved, three-step plan to ease Australia’s lockdown restrictions, including those on beauty treatments, the future doesn’t seem so bleak. So when, oh when, can we return to the salon?!


There’s some good news for the Sunshine Staters – hairdresser and barber salons are still open. As long as there’s no more than one person per four square metres and social distancing is observed, your hair is free reign. Cosmetic injections and other penetrative treatments like micro-needling are also permitted, but only when provided by registered health practitioners, and social distancing must be observed as much as possible. Spas and salons are currently closed but from Friday May 15 they will reopen as part of stage one of the state’s COVID-19 step-down approach. From then, 10 people will be permitted at any time in beauty salons up until June 12 when that number will grow to 20. Of course, social distancing measures will still need to be observed.


In NSW, spas and salons are only allowed to remain open to sell products, no services are to be provided under any circumstances (unless they are health services provided by registered health practitioners) and of course, they must stick to the four square metre rule. As for mobile beauty services, they can continue providing their services to clients in their homes. Government rules state only that they must continue to comply with all relevant laws, including WHS and local council requirements, and that they are to abide by social distancing. And for hairdressers and barbers, they must observe the four square metre rule too and try and minimise personal contact as much as possible. It’s unclear when restrictions will be eased in NSW but for now, you can get your hair done (yay!), but not your nails, and you can’t get a tan or a wax unless it’s in the comfort of your own home, which I guess is a yay too?


With no official word on restrictions lifting in the ACT, beauty and hair salons remain on the government’s non-essentials list. However, hairdressers and barbers can operate as long as, yep you guessed it, they abide by the four square metre rule. Other beauty services, however, are still a no go.


Much like in Victoria, Tassie hairdressers and barbers are still open and confined to the four square metre rule and social distancing measures, and its beauty salons and spas remain closed for now. The prospect of these conditions lifting in our most southern state is uncertain with Premier Peter Gutwein announcing that all current restrictions will remain in place until Friday May 15 at least.


The same goes for SA, where hairdressers and barbershops can remain operational but they must abide by the one person per four square metre rule and observe social distancing to the greatest extent possible. All salons and spas are closed for now, but from Monday June 8, beauty and nail salons will reopen as stage two of the state’s roadmap to easing COVID-19 restrictions is initiated. The four square metre rule will still apply and a maximum of 20 people will be permitted on the premises.


In the west, hairdressers and barbershops are open but must abide by the good old four square metre rule and social distancing measures. All beauty salons and spas are to remain closed for now, but by the end of the weekend the state will have unveiled its full plan on easing restrictions, so keep your eyes peeled for that. 


In Victoria, hairdressers and barbershops are able to operate but only when abiding by the four square metre and social distancing rules. Currently, all beauty salons remain closed and penetrative treatments, like micro-needling and body piercing, are only permitted if provided by registered health practitioners. Beauty treatment restrictions may be eased off the back of the PM’s announcement, but Victorians will have to wait until the Premier Daniel Andrews’ update on Monday to find out, so stay tuned.


As the NT is a little further along in their easing of restrictions, their rules on spas and salons have become kind of a grey area. Businesses can open on a case-by-case basis once they can comply with government health and safety measures. On Friday May 15, however, booking appointments will become easier to navigate with the government announcing that beauty salons for non-facial services, such as nails, massage and tanning will be reopened and from Friday June 5, it looks like all restrictions will be lifted under the current plan. Until then, for you guys and gals in the NT, it’s best to check that your local spa or salon is open by contacting them directly.

So, hold tight, beauty queens. It won’t be long until pre-pandemic life returns and your roots are once again seamless, your skin flawless and your brows shaped to the gods. Until then, stay safe, embrace your natural state and put the kitchen scissors down!

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