When are beauty salons opening in the UK?

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  • The hair and beauty industries were some of the first to close when the lockdown was announced in March, due to the personal contact required between the beautician and their client.

    Now, many people are wondering when beauty salons are going to be opening again in the UK as we surpassed so-called Super Saturday, where pubs and restaurants, along with hairdressers, cinemas, hotels, zoos and other businesses were allowed to open again for the first time.

    Industries such as beauty and hospitality have reported great losses during the lockdown, with companies such as Boots reporting closures of stores across the UK, so the delay in government response to when beauty salons and similar businesses could reopen has frustrated many people. Especially as the industry employs over 370,000 people according to The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC), and they have been one of those worst hit economically by the virus.

    So when can we expect to have our beauty treatments again?

    Latest news on beauty salons opening

    It has been confirmed that beauty salons will be given the go ahead to reopen from 13th July. Along with beauty salons reopening, nail salons, massage parlours and spas will also open to the public.

    Abi Selby, Founder of Spabreaks.com is greatly relieved UK spas will be opening from Monday 13th July, as announced by the government today.

    She said, “Along with the wider spa industry including the UK Spa Association and British Beauty Council who have been working tirelessly to get the industry open again, I am immensely relieved to hear spas will be able to open their doors from Monday to the many people that enjoy the physical and mental benefits of spa treatments.

    Why did beauty salons not open sooner?

    While hairdressers and barbers were given the green light to open on July 4, beauty salons and nail bars were not included on the list. Now it has been confirmed that beauty salons will open on Monday 13th July.

    Northern Ireland are opening their hair and beauty industries from July 6, subject to the control of the infection rate, while Wales is waiting to review their information on July 9 and Scotland have announced that hairdressers can reopen from July 15. There is no specific guidance about beauty salons, however.

    A government source responded to BABTAC’s questioning over when beauty salons would reopen on June 24. In a statement released on their website, the source said that beauty and ‘related businesses’ are not allowed to reopen at the moment and ‘no date has been confirmed for when this decision will be reviewed.’

    READ MORE: Beauty Guild’s open letter to the Prime Minister: why are beard trims allowed but no face treatments?

    They go on to say, ‘In terms of why hairdressing and not beauty, the answer is because the Government is taking a phased, cautious approach to reopening the economy to ensure that we limit the spread of the virus. This means that choices have had to be made as to which businesses to reopen as part of the next phase.

    ‘Appreciate that this will be disappointing for some people who had anticipated starting back from 4 July. The important thing though is to get the message out that beauty and other services not related to hairdressing should not be operating’

    What’s happening in other countries?

    social distancing measures being put in place in advance of beauty salons opening

    Credit: Getty

    One of the first countries to open its doors to beauty salons was Denmark, who began opening their hairdressers and beauty salons from April 20 after being one of the first countries to go into lockdown. Closely followed behind them is Italy, which was initially one of the countries worst hit by the virus. They have allowed hairdressers to open from May 18.

    In Switzerland, hairdressers and beauty salons have been open since April 27, while they opened from May 18 in Belgium and Poland. The Netherlands opened their salons a week before on May 10.

    Sweden, who never imposed a strict lockdown, have always had their beauty industry open for business.

    What will social distancing look like in beauty salons?

    In the lead up to hairdressers reopening, there was little information made available to salons about what social distancing measures they should take. Since they have opened and people have started getting their lockdown haircuts, the government has released new guidance for “close contact” businesses, such as hairdressers.

    Just like hairdressers, a huge part of the beauty salon experience requires hands-on treatment. Some of the measures taken for social distancing include:

    • Waiting areas removed: Customers will be asked to turn up at their appointment on time or wait outside the salon.
    • Increased hygiene and sanitisation.
    • Booked appointments only
    • Customers seated at least one metre away from each other and side-to-side.
    • Doors and windows open to increase ventilation.
    • Perspex screens at reception.
    • Some treatments will be off the table for customers.
    • Payment in advance by card: No cash is being taken for many appointments at the moment.
    • Hairdressers must wear a protective visor.
    • Magazines, food and drink are not allowed.

    So while specific measures have yet to be released for the beauty industry, it’s conceivable that social distancing guidelines would follow hairdressers.

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