Dubbo beauty salons forced to stop treatments for nine "really difficult" weeks because of COVID-19 restrictions are busily preparing to see clients again from June 1.
Therapists report of being inundated with inquiries since Sunday, when NSW health minister Brad Hazzard gave the sector the green light to start operating again from next week.
His announcement was greeted with relief by stressed salon owners, who also told the Daily Liberal of being heartened by the response from the community throughout the trying time.
Christine Austin, who with husband Mark owns Christine's Touch of Beauty, said they had been planning the salon's return since its closure on March 25.
The salon's "COVID safe plan" will include staff taking clients' temperature at entry and asking them to sanitise their hands, Mrs Austin advises.
"Perspex sneeze guards" have been installed at the nail tables, there will be a two-person limit in the waiting room and extra levels of cleaning, she says.
"But recognise we will be learning and adapting our reopening plans from the start as new information, either incrementally or radically, becomes available," she said.
The past two months had been enormously challenging for the family business.
"We have been navigating a range of interrelated issues that span from keeping our employees employed, liquidity, reorienting operations to an ecommerce environment with our website shop and navigating complicated government support programs, as well as the emotional anxiety," Mrs Austin said.
The salon owner retained a positive outlook and was buoyed by the flood of inquiries that started "immediately" after the minister's announcement.
"We have had an overwhelming response since the announcement... so the beauty industry will once again prove relatively resilient," Mrs Austin said.
"I've been in this industry for 35 years, beauty has evolved with changes, growing with each challenge."
Jessica Jane Paramedical and Natural Beauty Therapy owner Jessica Cross said the shutdown had been "really difficult".
"There's a lot of overheads you have as a salon, and being closed for such a long period of time, there's a lot of stress on the business financially," she said.
As soon as the green light to reopen came on Sunday, messages to Miss Cross's social media accounts "started going crazy".
The beauty therapist thanked people for their support in the past two months.
"...You see these people all the time, and we're 10 years in business this year, and you don't want something like this to stop you working," she said.
The Jessica Jane salon will reopen from June 3, with added precautionary measures.
"We were always wearing gloves and masks before this happened, and we're great with cleaning, that's the health code we have to stick by anyway," Miss Cross said.
Now we're only able to have a maximum of four people in the salon at any one time, implementing the social distancing where we can, if someone's coming in to ask about product, getting them to stay that distance away.
"I've got things printed up at front desk with our safety code on it, and hand sanitiser available.
"And basically, common sense - if you're sick, stay home."