On 4 July, certain businesses were allowed to reopen their doors to customers in England for the first time since lockdown was established in March.
Just over a week later on Friday 17 July, the prime minister revealed during a press conference that "close contact services" carried out by beauticians would be allowed to take place in the near future.
Here is everything you need to know.
When did nail bars and beauty salons reopen in England?
While non-essential businesses have been reopening in England since the beginning of June, this hasn’t applied to all retailers.
On Monday 13 July, businesses including beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo parlours were given the go-ahead to resume business.
What beauty services are permitted?
During the update given on 9 July, the government explained that “updated Covid-19 secure guidance" had been published outlining the measures that workers who are "providing close contact services" should adhere to "to protect staff and customers”.
This included not offering services in “the highest risk zone” in front of the face.
Nonetheless, on 17 July the prime minister revealed that this guidance will change from Saturday 1 August, with "all close contact services" allowed to resume.
This will include services such as eyelash treatments, eyebrow threading and facials.
The government said that when a distance of two metres cannot be observed between practitioners and customers, the person who is carrying out the beauty treatment “should wear further protection in addition to any that they may usually wear”.
“This should be a clear visor that covers the face, or the use of a screen or other barrier that protects the practitioner and the customer from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking,” the government stated.
Beauty salons that open can only offer services to customers who book appointments in advance and only water is allowed to be consumed by customers on the premises.
All of the guidance outlined by the government also applies to beauty practitioners who operate in various locations, such as in people’s homes.
Business secretary Alok Sharma explained that allowing nail bars and beauty salons to reopen “is yet another step in our plan to kickstart the economy to support jobs and incomes across the country”.
What about the rest of the UK?
The devolved nations of the UK have established lockdown guidelines that are distinct from the rules outlined by the government for members of the public in England.
In Northern Ireland, hair salons, barbers, nail bars, beauty salons and tattoo parlours were allowed to reopen from 6 July.
The Scottish government recently announced that hairdressers and barbers are scheduled to open their doors from 15 July.
Meanwhile other beauty-related businesses, including beauty salons, spas, nail bars and make-up counters, have been given an “indicative opening date” of 22 July “subject to physical distancing and enhanced hygiene measures”.
The first minister of Wales has released a timetable for the easing of restrictions for businesses across the country, stating that establishments including tattoo parlours and nail salons can begin preparing to reopen from 27 July as long as social distancing and hygiene guidelines are stringently followed.
How will salons ensure staff and customer safety when they reopen?
A number of safety measures have been introduced to protect both staff and customers at nail bars and beauty salons.
As part of its plans to ease lockdown, the government has said that any businesses which reopen will have to meet Covid-19 secure guidelines.
Depending upon the workplace in question, this will mean carrying out measures such as ensuring people are able to maintain social distancing, staggering the arrival of employees and introducing “one-way flow routes” and hand sanitisation areas.
At beauty salons in England, screens and barriers are being used to separate clients from one another, in addition to clients from practitioners in environments such as nail salons.
The government advises “increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning”, in addition to “keeping the activity time to a minimum”.
Customers’ seats must be adequately spaced from each other, and practitioners must wear gloves “wear it is not crucial to the service”.
Can you do beauty treatments at home?
If you do not feel comfortable undergoing beauty treatments at salons, there are many treatments that you can do yourself at home.