When can facial treatments start in beauty salons across the UK?

When are facial treatments allowed in beauty salons across the UK?
(Image credit: Getty Images/Image Source)

We never knew who much we valued a trip to the salon, until it was no longer available. But finally there is some good news.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that England’s four-week lockdown will end on 2 December. From this date, England will move back into a regional, tiered approach.

However, the government’s Covid winter plan revealed that the “personal care” sector will reopen regardless of tier.

This means hair, nail and beauty salons across England will be able to reopen their doors on 2 December and once again facials will be allowed. 

Salon owners and staff will be breathing a sigh of relief after the UK lockdown issued on the 31st October left many fearful that they would miss out on custom in the lead up to Christmas. 

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Are facials safe?

One thing that we can be sure of when salon reopen is that beauty therapists will be expected to wear full PPE (mask and gloves) in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

“We actually started trialling our facials using gloves, just before [the first] lockdown began.

MORE:What will social distancing look like for nail salons in the UK?

"Clients were pleasantly surprised that it didn’t deter too much from the sensation of the facial, as you still get all of the benefits of the massage techniques and of course the same products are being used,” beauty therapist Debbie Thomas, who has ordered both vinyl and latex gloves for treatments, told The Telegraph.

She added, “as long as the therapist is using tight fitting gloves, it won’t alter the facial technique at all.”

Some facialists argue that the new considerations may even enhance the experience for clients.Reena Hammer from Urban Retreat told The Telegraph, “we think it’s going to reinforce an amazing customer journey, which can be lacking when things are rushed.

“One of the things we are going to do is to start each facial with a hygiene ritual between the client and therapist to build trust and confidence. That way, it’s not just a clinical experience, it becomes part of the treatment in the same way that some facials begin with a foot bath and massage."

Will I have to wear a face mask during beauty treatments?

Current guidelines state that masks should be worn whenever possible in public spaces, and are compulsory in shops and on public transport.

The nature of a facial treatment makes it difficult for the client to wear a mask, but with most beauty treatments you will be required to wear a mask at all times. 

From the Prime Minister's update so far, you could be fined a minimum of £200 if you do not wear a mask when attending a manicure, beauty salon or hair salon appointment.

What social distancing practices will be in place for facial treatments?

A number of social distancing measures were already upheld already in salons throughout the country pre lockdown and these are expected to continue when salons are allowed to re-open.

These guidelines include:

  • Encouraging clients to use hand sanitiser or hand washing facilities when they enter the premises.
  • Limiting the number of appointments to ensure that 1m+ social distancing rules can be upheld.
  • Clients attending appointments on their own and waiting areas closed.
  • One-way flows through the salons with designated entrance and exits if possible.
  • No walk-ins and an appointment-only system in place.
  • Covid-screening questions before the appointment, e.g. Do you have a new and persistent cough?

What happened to beauty treatments such as facials in the March and November lockdowns?

Back in March, beauty salons and hairdressers closed their doors to stop the spread of coronavirus. We wondered, when will massage places open their doors again? Will we learn to love the bushy brow? And what about post-Covid hair cuts? (turns out thanks to more demand for hygienic styles, the bob haircut is back!)

Controversy followed when Super Saturday saw pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopen, this didn’t include beauty salons or facials resuming.

There was much debate on this topic, with many arguing that it was simply unfair that men were able to have facial treatments such as beard trimming, while women couldn't have facial treatments such as facials and eyebrow waxing (you can read more about the debate here).

Then on Saturday 31st October (Halloween, could it be more appropriate?), Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that another UK lockdown would begin from Thursday 5th November. These measures are expected to apply nationally until the 2nd December at the earliest.

The restrictions imposed mean that as of the 5th November you are not able to visit a salon for beauty services such as body massages, manicures or waxes.

Lauren Hughes
Lauren Hughes

Lauren is deputy editor at woman&home.com in the UK and became a journalist mainly because she enjoys being nosy. With a background in features journalism, Lauren has worked on the woman&home brand for four years. Before woman&home Lauren worked across a variety of women's lifestyle titles, including GoodTo, Woman's Own, and Woman magazine. After starting out working for a local paper in Yorkshire, her journalism career took her to Bristol where she hunted out stories for national papers and magazines at Medavia news agency, before landing a job in London working as a lifestyle assistant.


Lauren loves helping people share their stories, bringing experiences to life online, honing her interview techniques with everyone from authors to celebrities, headteachers to local heroes. As well as having a good nose for a story, Lauren has a passion for the English language and years of experience optimizing digital content to reach the widest audience possible. During her time at w&h, Lauren has worked on big brand campaigns like the Amazing Women Awards and assisted in developing w&h expert-approved Buyer's Guides—the place to go if you're looking to splash out on an important purchase and want some trusted advice. In addition to her journalism career, Lauren also has a background in copywriting for prestigious brands such as Inhabit Hotel, eco-development K'in in Tulum, social enterprise The Goldfinger Factory and leading London architect Holland Harvey, using language in all its glorious forms, from detailed guidebooks to snappy social content. 


A big fan of adventure, Lauren is also a keen travel writer and loves sharing tips on where to find the best places to eat, drink, and be merry off the beaten track. Lauren has written a series of travel guides for London hotels and loves sharing her insights into a destination's cultural and culinary offerings. If you need a recommendation on any UK destination, she's more than happy to help. At the weekend, you'll usually find her hanging out with her pet cat (or anyone else's pet she can get her hands on), escaping to the countryside, or devouring a good book. 


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