BEAUTICIANS are calling for the right to open their businesses – despite Bolton Council's u-turn on lifting coronavirus restrictions in the borough.

Earlier this afternoon health chiefs called for the government to reverse their decision to lift stricter measures in Bolton after a "sudden and concerning" spike in cases.

The restrictions were due to be lifted tomorrow, allowing residents to meet with members of another household in a private home or garden.

Close contact services, such as facial beauty treatments, were set to resume tomorrow – but business owners have been left heartbroken after today's announcement cast uncertainty over this reopening.

Dionne Leece, 33, is a semi-permanent artist who runs The Dressing Up Box in the borough.

She spent the weekend working on her upcoming schedule, staying awake until 1.30am arranging appointments for her clients.

Now, she may have to cancel these appointments for the fourth time.

She said: "I don't understand why our businesses are still not allowed to reopen despite evidence showing the virus is spread between households.

"Workplaces like mine are clean and sterile – regardless of covid – but we're prepared to take extra measures to protect clients.

"I don't think it's fair that people who are flouting these rules can go to pubs and restaurants but we still can't open after five and a half months.

"It's always the day before when we get these announcements – it's heartbreaking, soul destroying, and a brutal punishment.

"If they're going to keep businesses like myself closed then what do they think we're living off?"

Last Wednesday, Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham called for close-contact services to resume – two weeks after they were able to restart in the rest of the country.

Leaders across the borough have urged the government to allow casinos, bowling alleys, and beauty parlours to open across Greater Manchester.

Whilst no announcement has been made, doubts have been cast about the resumption of services in the borough after this afternoon's call to keep restrictions in place.

Mrs Leece has been on three training courses to ensure that she is "covid-secure", with an inspection of the studio showing that everything was in place for her business to reopen safely.

She specialises in cosmetic facial procedures and medical tattooing, such as clinical areola replacement for breast cancer survivors.

Only one client is seen at a time at The Dressing Up Box – and most of the existing practices at the business meet new coronavirus guidelines due to the medical nature of her procedures.

Mrs Leece added: "This will be the fourth time they've done this to us, it's crazy, we need to get our businesses open.

"I've just spent all weekend fitting clients in, sleepless nights, cancelling plans and I've not been paid for it.

"You just sit around and wait, and wait, and wait until an announcement is made - there's no prior notice.

"It's unfair that you can get a few pints or go to the barbers and get your beard trimmed but we can't open.

"It's very contradictory – the government are helping fund businesses and telling us to go out and enjoy ourselves and then punishing the beauty industry when the virus spreads."