Washington and Ohio become first states to close tattoo shops


As state governments try to find ways to stop the spread of the potentially deadly novel coronavirus, non-essential businesses across the country have been ordered to shut down. Considering the nature of tattooing, it seemed like a matter of time before tattoo shops were on the list of businesses that had to close. In Washington and Ohio, that time has come.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Monday ordered bars, restaurants and “recreational facilities” to be closed temporarily. The order includes cafes, barbers, nail salons, cinemas, concert halls and tattoo shops.

Washington state was one of the first states to be affected by the virus, and with more than 900 known cases, it is the second hardest-hit state behind New York.

Tattoo parlors across Ohio closed their doors for the last time on Wednesday night for the foreseeable future. Following the lead of states like Washington, Governor Mike DeWine has ordered barbers, nail salons, spas and tattoo shops to be closed.

As the country as a whole continues to fight this virus, other states are likely to order tattoo shops to close in the future. Considering the high standard of cleanliness and sanitation practiced by reputable tattoo shops, it was not getting a tattoo that led to their closure. It is still safe to get a tattoo while taking some extra precautions.

The main reason for tattoo shops closing is to keep people home. No matter how much you feel like it, you won’t need to get a tattoo. In order to beat this pandemic, people need to limit their contact with each other, especially since you can be a carrier of COVID-19 and not know it.

Store closures and the cancellation of tattoo conventions are going to be economically overwhelming for the entire industry. It’s important to go out and support your favorite tattoo artists (not to mention restaurateurs, bartenders, barbers, etc.) in any way you can.

Expect there to be more tattoo store closures in the coming days. It will pass if we work together to protect each other. Stay home, stay safe, social distancing, wash your hands … now you know the exercise.


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