So... When Will Beauty Salons Re-open in the UK?

Claudia Canavan
Photo credit: Tatiana - Getty Images

From Women's Health

Given that the latest lockdown easing measures, set to come into place on Saturday 4th July, include hairdressers re-opening, you might be wondering if you can head for pedicure, too.

Sadly: no. Right now. there are no specific dates laid out as to when beauty salons will be given the green light to welcome customers. While many in the industry were anticipating that those providing services like tanning and manicures would be set to get back to business at the same time as the hair industry – as has been the case in Germany and Italy – that was not how the plan was laid out in an address by the Prime Minister.

'We intend to allow some other close contact services, such as nail bars, to reopen as soon as we can, when we’re confident they can operate in a secure way,' Boris Johnson said in the briefing.

How might beauty salons open up?

While hair salons do have permission to open up, they must be 'covid secure.' This means measures such as plenty of space between customers and hairdressers wearing protective visors. As such, it's safe to assume that similar measures will be in place with salons, given that similar risks (lots of person-to-person contact, small, indoor spaces) are posed.

What do open beauty salons look like, elsewhere?

In Italy, beauty salons have opened up – but the experience is a far cry from what you might be used to. Tape lines floors in many salons, indicating where you can and can not step. Things like nail files have become single use, and thrown away once put to work on a customer. Staff sport masks and gloves. It gets more dystopian – some nail bars have glass partitions to separate technician and customer, with a space to slide your hand through.

What does the beauty industry think?

Naturally, there's a keen desire for an understanding of what will happen next. Businesses cannot survive without turning profit forever, while the furlough scheme is set to end in October.

The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) detailed in an open letter to Business Secretary Alok Sharma last month that there is serious need for further clarity.

Chief executive Hillary Hall wrote: 'I am writing to you to stress the need for absolute clarity from Government that any future guidance for the hair and beauty industry applies to the sector as a whole. This includes salons with premises, home-based salons, mobile or freelance stylists, barbers and therapists who work outside salons, for example in care homes and private households or on photoshoots.

'Clear messaging on this matter is of absolute importance in order to demonstrate that each of these types of business plays an equal role in reducing the risk of spreading COVID- 19 and ensuring the safety of themselves, their clients and those they interact with.'

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