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Stricter rules for tattoos and piercings in Wales


Tougher controls on tattoo artists and those working in body piercing are set to be introduced in Wales.

The country is to become the first UK nation to bring in a mandatory licensing scheme with the aim of reducing infections and poor working practices.

Cosmetic clinics that offer semi-permanent make-up, acupuncturists and those who provide electrolysis will also have to register.

More than 3,500 practitioners will need to apply for a licence, with 1,868 premises requiring approval.

The pass rate for those who have already undertaken the level 2 award in infection prevention and control voluntarily is 95%.

The Welsh Government launched a 12-week consultation on Wednesday to hear the views of practitioners, the public, local authorities and other stakeholders.

Cardiff tattoo artist Ashley Davies, who runs Stronghold Tattoo, said he welcomed the move and said it is positive for the industry.

He said: “It is fantastic that Wales will be the first UK nation to introduce a national licensing scheme for our sector.

“This will raise standards and should be embraced.”

Ffion Hughes, a permanent make-up and paramedical tattooist based at Little Wren Beauty & Aesthetics in Caernarfon, North Wales said: “This mandatory scheme will provide a level playing field for reputable businesses in the industry.”

However, some believe it will not prevent people from operating without licences, including self-taught tattooists.

Wales’ chief medical officer Frank Atherton said: “Good standards of hygiene and infection control by all special procedures practitioners and businesses is essential as these procedures are capable of causing harm if not carried out properly.

“This new compulsory licensing scheme will ensure that both clients and practitioners are adequately protected at all times.

“I am very pleased that these impending changes have been widely welcomed by practitioners in Wales, with many already volunteering to meet the new standards.”