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Melbourne Tattoo Company
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Hoping to get a tattoo soon? You’ll need to take a trip to Victoria

Tattoo studios in NSW will remain shuttered for the foreseeable future, but in VIC, they'll be open again from June 1

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June 1 is set to be a watershed moment in Australia, not just for NSW but for several states. Many of the social restrictions that have upended everyday life since mid-March are due to be lifted, meaning many currently shuttered businesses will once again be allowed to open. 

In NSW, the list of establishments that will be welcoming back customers next month includes libraries, museums, galleries, beauty salons, zoos and wildlife parks. However, tattoo studios will not be allowed to begin trading again in NSW, for the time being at least.

But don’t worry, forlorn ink-seekers, there is one way you can go under the needle in the near future: by taking a trip to Victoria. On May 24, the Andrews government announced that tattoo studios would be allowed to reopen in Victoria from June 1, along with massage parlours and spas. Statewide travel throughout NSW and Victoria for purely recreational purposes will also be allowed from the first of next month, so there’s no legal impediment to being a tattoo tourist in Victoria if you’re based in New South Wales. You can even stay overnight and make a weekend of it, if you want.

With the ban on trading drawing on in NSW, with no clear end in sight, it seems inevitable that some NSW-based tattoo artists will also choose to migrate south. Melbourne has an equally passionate love affair with tattoo art, so there will be plenty of local demand for NSW-based tattooists seeking gainful employment in Victoria. It’s not uncommon for tattoo studios to have resident guest artists, and Melbourne has some of the best in the country, so if you’re in the market for some new ink, we suggest you look to Victoria; the state can expect an influx of top tattoo talent in the coming weeks.

Want to start planning your next tattoo in NSW (when they can finally reopen)? These are the best tattoo shops in Sydney.

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