I AM writing to you to raise the issue of the Government letting down the British tattoo industry.

We are an industry that is not fully understood by a lot of people and has historically been seen as a counter-culture movement.

However today’s tattoo studio is not the same as that from the 1970s.

We work to a high level of hygiene, sanctioned by local health authorities. By comparison to hairdressers and barbers, the difference is large.

We have a pre-existing knowledge base of crosscontamination and prevention of spreading various diseases and illnesses.

To comply with “Covid-safe” guidelines it would take similar changes to that of hairdressers.

In the initial lockdown, we were a “stage 3” business, the same as hairdressing.

Now the Government has decided this is not the case and left us with no date, even a vague date of when we can open.

Having read through the newly-published guidelines by the Government, the changes would be minor and the same as industries now allowed to open on July 4.

I spent yesterday preparing a document that answers the Government’s suggestions point by point and have contacted the MP for Colchester Will Quince to see what he can do on the matter.

Tattoo artists from around the UK are signing petitions and raising awareness online to attract Government attention to the high hygiene levels present in our industry.

A large percentage of the population is tattooed, especially in Colchester, and although not all of Colchester residents may be supporters of tattoo studios, we provide a service that many enjoy.

Alan Aldred

Trinity Street, Colchester