BEAUTY therapist Natalie Misale is still coming to terms with the fact she will be out of work for at least three more months.
The owner of Mildura beauty business The Lash Beautique by Natalie was one of many beauty business operators disappointed after regional Victoria's "roadmap" to reopening was outlined on Sunday.
While hairdressers remain open, beauty services will be among the last retail businesses to open on November 23 -- but only if there have been zero new cases recorded statewide within 14 days.
Ms Misale said she was left speechless by the announcement.
"I keep looking at the roadmap and thinking surely this can't be right," she said.
"I was expecting to be told we could go back to work after the school holidays, when Term 4 resumed."
After no cases had been recorded in Sunraysia for months, and with stringent safety procedures in place in the beauty industry, Ms Misale believed it was unfair for the industry to close statewide.
"We clean and sanitise everything between every single client, we use as much disposable stuff as possible and it's a one-on-one service -- how is this fair?" she said.
Lisa Natale was in a similar position with her business, Pulse Laser at the Chookpen Spa, which will have effectively been closed for half the year by the end of November.
She is calling on the Victorian Government to overhaul its regional roadmap, with different restrictions for different regions.
"I just don't think it's fair that all regional areas are lumped into one category," she said.
"We need to be assessed by postcode, which I know is a little bit harder, but when you've recorded zero cases in months, it's not fair to have businesses shut for half the year."
She said being unable to plan for the future was challenging.
"You want to buy products for the future, to be able to introduce new treatments, but you just can't because it's all unknown," she said.
"We've got a great client base that has been really supportive, but reassuring them is the hardest part.
"Letting them know that you will be back and just trying to keep them interested when there's no set date -- after a while you get a bit deflated.
"Hopefully we can make a bit of noise and the State Government can reassess the map and be compassionate."