How Getting A Tattoo Has Changed During The Pandemic

How Your Next Tattoo Visit Might Not Be The Same

  • Written By Dan Hunter on July 28 2020
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

In an attempt to prevent the spread of coronavirus earlier this year, tattoo shops across the world closed up. However, over the summer, various governments have finally allowed these shops to open up again.

While some people may be naturally worried about revisiting a tattoo shop out of fear of catching coronavirus, they need to understand that the vast majority of regulated studios are very prepared, and very safe environments in these current times.

While most governments have failed to provide any specific guidelines about how artists should change their methods of tattooing, it’s extremely important to know that tattoos studios have always been incredibly hygienic spaces, and this has only changed for the better throughout the pandemic.

Curious to know how your next visit to the tattoo shop might be different from your last? Take a look below at the things that have probably changed in your local studios.


Many countries around the world now require their citizens to wear masks in nearly all indoor (and many outdoor) public spaces. Don’t expect your local tattoo studio to be any different.

Your tattoo artist will very likely wear a mask throughout the whole sitting, and you will most probably have to do the same. Some artists may allow you to remove your mask if you’re facing away from them (like if you’re getting a back tattoo, for example), but this is very location-dependent; don’t be surprised if you have to keep your mask on throughout the entire sitting like your artist.

If you’re booked in for a long session, you might want to bring a mask that you know will be comfortable for long durations. If you’re unsure which masks might work well for a long sitting, check out these sweet face masks from Chronic Ink Tattoo. They’re super comfortable, they have dozens of amazing designs, and one hundred percent of profits from your purchase will go towards helping front line workers.

Fantastic work from the team at Chronic Ink Tattoo.

Temperature Checking and Sanitizing Stations

It’s a common theme when entering most indoor spaces these days, and it’s no different inside tattoo studios. Upon entry, you will likely have to give your hands a very thorough wash before proceeding to get your temperature taken.

If your temperature reading is higher than the average range, you may be denied entry and you will have to re-schedule for another day. Artists will not want to risk having an infected person in the store, as this may prompt a temporary shutdown, which would in turn cause potentially large monetary losses and inconvenient customer cancellations; not what businesses need in an already extremely demanding period.

Sole Artist Contact

You will likely be well distanced from anybody else within the shop, and spaced well away from any other tattoo artists and customers. Tattoo artists will also segregate themselves from everybody else just as you are doing in order to minimize risk.

No Face-to-Face Contact

Many tattoo artists and studios will have a no fact-to-face policy where they’ll never tattoo in such a way that their faces will be in direct close contact with your own. Artists will position themselves so they’re as far away from as possible, and some will choose to not tattoo areas where this rule cannot be properly maintained, such as the front of the neck, for example.

Although adjustments will have to be made for your next appointment, it doesn’t mean you can’t still get a mind-blowing tattoo during the pandemic.

No Walk-Ins

The vast majority of tattoo studios are small, and there is no way that many of them will be able to have a sufficiently socially distanced waiting area. For this reason, many studios will straight-out refuse to take on walk-in clients, and will instead insist on taking up-front bookings only.

Another problem with walk-in appointments is that the tattoo design will not have been agreed upon until the customer enters the studio, meaning that close contact between the artist and the customer would have to be maintained while the design is discussed and finalized, and many artists will prefer to keep close contact as minimal as humanly possible.

You Will Have To Come On Your Own

While it’s usually completely acceptable to bring along a friend or family member to your tattoo sitting at your artist’s discretion, this is not the case this year.

While many mothers will be giving birth to their children alone this year without their partners by their side, you too will also need to fight through the pain alone in the tattoo artist’s chair. Any additional bodies in such a highly socially distanced environment is just too risky and unnecessary during these current times.

Expect To Pay Slightly More

2020 is the year where many tattoo artists up and down the country will be raising their prices. Not only do they have to pay out more to purchase hundreds of pieces of personal protective equipment to keep themselves and their customers safe, but many will also be ensuring they charge a higher amount as a ‘risk charge. Tattoo artists will be up very close and personal with many strangers every single day, and they may feel they deserve a larger payment for taking higher risks to provide a somewhat ‘luxury’ services during these testing times.

If you decide that you’d instead prefer to wait it out until prices go back down after the pandemic is over, don’t hold your breath; because in all likelihood, many artists will be planning on making these higher prices permanent.


While things have certainly changed drastically in the tattooing world (at least for the foreseeable future), these changes are put in place for one reason, and that is for public safety. 

But don’t be afraid to support your local tattooing businesses. Be careful, be aware of your surroundings, and be confident in knowing that tattoo shops throughout the world are trying as hard as possible to make your next appointment as perfect and as safe as possible, even during these unprecedented times.