AS Blackburn is named the country's sunbed hotspot, staff from two tanning salons reveal the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on their businesses.

Blackburn was recently listed as the place with the most tanning salons per square metre by Nicely Polished and came second as the UK’s highest places with beauty salons.

Tanning studios in Blackburn were forced to close when the lockdown started but opened back up in July, after hairdressers were allowed to reopen.

Monika Papierak at the Paradise Tanning Studio thinks the tanning industry has not been negatively affected as people continue to plan holidays they missed.

She said: "We got support from the government but it only covers the rent and since we closed, the rest of the bills still needed to be paid, such as the internet.

"I could not even cancel it and if we did not pay it, they would cut the signal and then to reinstall you have to pay £200.

"We have been very happy since coming back and are following all the government guidelines.

"The council have also been to visit the Paradise Tanning Studio and deemed everything to be following standards sufficiently.

"The first week we were very busy and people had to wait outside, while the second and third week after reopening we were quieter, but then Blackburn’s coronavirus restrictions got worse.

"We are still doing well, so I can’t complain on that."

While Monica is thankful for the support received by the government, she also thinks there should be more help for businesses with other costs they cannot get out of.

Another tanning salon happy to be back in business is Suntastic on Old Bank Lane in Blackburn.

Carrie Fielding her runs the salon for her parents, said:

At the time, we were relieved we were closing during lockdown as we did not think we would have any support if we had to stay open.

We were happy after getting help because many businesses are going bust, so we stayed positive all the time.

The only concern for Miss Fielding was when hairdressers were allowed to reopen, with no mention of tanning salons at the time.

She said: We were worried when hairdressers opened but not us, but it worked out for us in the end.

I would say we are not any quieter or busier during this time of year than we would normally be.

Lots of people have not gone away yet so they are coming in now, but we do not know what to expect.

The business has also ensured social distancing remains in place, with a limited number of customers allowed in the salon as well as masks provided.

Burnley was also listed as a beauty salon hotspot, coming it at number four, with Oldham in second.

The Sunbed Association suggests precautions are taken before using a sunbed.

A statement on their website reads: "Although precautions do need to be taken, regular, moderate amounts of unprotected UV exposure are absolutely necessary for good health."

However Cancer Research UK says: "Using sunbeds can increase your risk of melanoma skin cancer by 16 to 20 per cent."