Many have turned to the desperate measure of cutting our own hair at home, whether trimming our fringes or split-ends. But when will hair salons reopen in the UK and when can we return to our hairdresser for some long-awaited maintenance? Here is everything you need to know.
When will hairdressers reopen in England?
It looks like we are still going to be waiting a while until hairdressers reopen.
On 10 May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that personal care businesses, including hairdressers, could be allowed to offer services “no earlier than 4 July” and would need to follow a set of 'COVID-19 Secure' guidelines, such as advising the use of face coverings and social distancing. This was part of a roadmap to lifting lockdown measures and reopening the country, based on a Covid Alert System, starting with some restrictions being eased from 13 May, including those on exercise.
Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab confirmed that hairdressers and beauty salons will not open until 4 July at the “very earliest”.
“We’ll look at other sectors and that will include hospitality, but it will also include personal care and people like hairdressers,” Raab said. “Obviously the proximity [within salons]... is something where we just don’t think we are ready yet, given where we are with the virus.”
These comments were further echoed in the government guidelines, issued on 11 May, which state: “The next step will also take place when the assessment of risk warrants further adjustments to the remaining measures. The Government’s current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests justifying some or all of the measures below, and further detailed scientific advice, provided closer to the time, on how far we can go.”
When will hairdressers reopen across the UK?
The governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have announced their own policies for lifting lockdown restrictions, meaning that hairdressers may reopen at different points across the UK.
Hairdressers in Scotland may be allowed to reopen in the third phase of the country's four-phase “route map” to easing lockdown restrictions. A date has not been set for phase three. However, restrictions are reviewed every three weeks with the next review due on 18 June.
In Northern Ireland, "contact" retailers, including hairdressers and fitness studios, will be allowed to reopen in step four of the government's five-step “pathway to recovery”. However, this is subject to mitigations and following risk assessment. Like Scotland, no date has been given but the restrictions are set to be reviewed on 18 June.
The Welsh government is easing the country's restrictions via a “traffic light” system. Hairdressers may be allowed to reopen in the Amber phase, but no timeline has been given. The restrictions are due to be reviewed on 18 June.
How will hairdressers change when they reopen?
It’s still too soon to say what it might look like when hairdressers reopen their doors again. However, some European countries have begun easing restrictions – and opening hair salons – which may give some indication of what the new ‘normal’ will look like in haircare.
Hair salons across Germany opened on 4 May, answering a suppressed demand under lockdown. However, it was not back to business as usual. Hairdressers have been obliged to follow new strict hygiene rules. The Guardian reports that hairdressers must keep styling chairs 1.5 metres from each other, washing hair before a cut each time (to kill off potential viruses), no magazines in the waiting area or free coffee. Both clients and hairdressers must wear face masks. Hairdressers must also wear single-use aprons and disinfect their scissors between cuts. This also meant hairdressers could now only serve one customer at a time, and as such, are still seeing a reduced pre-coronavirus trade.
In Italy, which has roughly twice as many hair and beauty salons as the UK, hairdressers reopened this week after the government announced new moves to relax lockdown measures as part of a “calculated risk” to put the country back on its feet. However, salons must limit the number of customers, who will be required to keep two metres apart, with frequent disinfectant of all areas and equipment. Hairdressers and customers must wear face masks. However, the government has recommended due to the high demand and reduced capacity, salons should be allowed to extend their opening hours and open on days when they would normally close.
Last updated: 17-06-2020
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