Conwy Prepares for Tougher Legislation on Tattoo Parlours and Skin Piercers
Conwy is preparing for tougher legislation governing tattoo parlours and skin piercers to improve hygiene and stop serious skin infections – and practitioners will be subject to police checks.
The council’s licensing committee discussed new legislation replacing current council by-laws, which will also affect ‘skin piercers’ such as acupuncturists and those carrying out micro blading and electrolysis.
The licensing committee were briefed on the new national legislation expected as their involvement could increase once the law changes.
Councillors learned those carrying our skin piercings at home will also be stopped from doing so and face large fines, and future proposals could extend the remit to cover beauty procedures such as lip fillers and Botox.
Under the new plans, it is expected that individual practitioners will have to pay around £300 and businesses £560 per premises for a licence every three years.
Currently Conwy has around 200 individual and premises registered that are ‘broadly’ compliant with the council’s current by-laws.
The county has around 70 businesses registered for skin piercing and around 130 practitioners.
The committee heard how an increase in licence fees will enable an increase in compliance visits by officers, improving hygiene standards with financial penalties, giving councils more power to refuse licences.
The new legislation will require both practitioners and the business to be included in a public register.
Committee member Cllr Sharon Doleman asked how the new legislation will affect practitioners carrying out procedures from home.
Conwy’s senior environment health officer Gill Hulme said that would be prohibited under the legislation.
She then warned of much stricter legislation.
“There will be an offence if you practise without a licence, which will be more straightforward than currently under the registration system,” said Ms Hulme.
“We will be able to serve stop notices to stop people practising if we think it is unhygienic, and there will be more severe penalties so that is a strict and more uniform approach.”
In 2016, following several serious bacterial infections at a tattoo/piercing studio in mid-Wales, a recommendation was made by the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Trust to Welsh Government for stricter licensing.
The Public Health Act Wales has set out a potential structure for licensing skin piercing activities by Local Authorities, yet to be enacted, but Welsh Government carried out a consultation in the spring 2023 – with new requirements set to be statutory.
More details are expected to emerge before the end of the year.
But new legislation will likely impose conditions on practitioners prior to them being granted a licence and will enable the council to quickly stop unhygienic practices once the licence has been granted.
The new licensing scheme will require applicants to submit a DBS check, a Level Two Infection Prevention and Control Certificate, a plan of their premises, and details of their infection control arrangements.
By Richard Evans – Local Democracy Reporter
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