Beauty salon owner who gave illegal manicures during Covid lockdown fined £1000

A woman who made headlines during the January coronavirus lockdown for refusing to close her business has been fined £1,000 for the defiant act.

Natalie Hewitt, 32, did not close her Wales-based Smooch Nails & Beauty salon at the start of the year, when the area was on alert level four.

This meant that all non-essential businesses had to close, but Ms Hewitt refused to do so, Wales Online reports.

It was during a check of the area but Wrexham County Borough Council, on January 13, that enforcement officers found that the owner was inside “painting the nails” of a woman, who was part of an non-socially distanced group.

She then refused to answer the door to the officer, or two PCSOs who had since turned up.

She denied breaking the rules, insisting, in court later, that she had been “alone” in the salon while “cleaning and decorating” – which was, at the time, legally allowed.

However, this week, she was found guilty, and chairman of the bench Celia Jenkins said there was “clear evidence that the defendant had been asked to open her salon door but refused”.

She told her: “We find no justification for you refusing to open the door.

“We find you guilty of carrying on a business contrary to Covid-19 regulations at the time.”

She has been fined £1,000, and ordered to pay an extra £1,000 towards court costs, and a further £100 victim surcharge – bringing the grant total to £2,1000.

Earlier today it was announced that seven more people had died with coronavirus in Wales according to the latest figures from Public Health Wales.

This brings the total number of Covid-related deaths in Wales to 6,412.

There was also 2,067 new positive cases recorded in the latest update, taking the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 510,999.

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