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‘Our Studios Are Like Clinics’: Malta’s Tattoo Artists ‘Confused And Distraught’ At Decision To Keep Parlours Closed

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Hairdressers, beauticians, nail technicians, beachside lidos, restaurants and każini all across Malta and Gozo will be allowed to reopen their doors as of tomorrow, but one group that’s been left behind is struggling to understand why they of all people have been singled out.

“We are distraught,” tattoo artist Charlot Seychell told Lovin Malta. “We were sure we would have been able to open for business as from tomorrow, but we won’t.”

“We do not understand the ‘higher risk’ licensed tattoo studios have when compared to these establishments,” Seychell continued. “These establishments see tens of people a day, whereas tattoo artists see only one, two maybe three clients a day.”

“Most of these business owners heard about infection control only recently. We have been trained on this matter even before we opened our shops. Infection control training is actually one of the requirements to get a tattoo license.”

“We have been wearing protective equipment like masks and gloves way before all of Malta started wearing them,” Seychell elaborated. “We have been cleaning our shops with virucidal and bactericidal cleaners since the day we opened for business. We are actually experts on this subject matter. Our studios are like clinics.”

“It is true, we work on open wounds, but unlike the HIV and hepatitis viruses, the Coronavirus is airborne and not bloodborne,” the tattoo artist explained. “So this line of thought is irrelevant.”

“There are 176 licensed tattoo artists in Malta. We all have families, bills to pay, and we are all struggling. This decision was unjust and ill-informed.”

“I ask myself, Was it because of the negative connotation with tattooing?” Seychell finished. “In the early 90s there was a stereotype for a tattoo artist. Today’s tattoo artists are different. We are professionals, and some of us,like myself, have tertiary education. “

The reopening of many establishments around the island at a time when Malta’s active cases continues to rise on a daily basis has not come without its criticism.

Earlier today, the Medical Association of Malta and UHM Voice of the Workers warned in a joint statement that “we are in the second wave”, calling on the government to postpone Friday’s lifting of measures by two more weeks.

What do you make of this? Do you think tattoo parlours should’ve also been allowed to reopen?

READ NEXT: Malta's Frontliners Say Tomorrow’s Measures Must Be Postponed By Two Weeks: 'We Are In The Second Wave'

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