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

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  • We never knew who much we valued a trip to the salon, until it was no longer available. 

    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!)

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    And when will facial treatments be allowed in UK salons?

    Are facial treatments allowed?

    On Friday 17 July, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in a parliamentary briefing that all beauty services in England could resume from August 1. However, last week, after Boris Johnson announced a U-turn on restrictions being lifted due to rising Covid-19 cases, it’s now unclear when treatments will be able to resume. In a daily briefing, Boris said that treatments would be postponed for “at least a fortnight”.

    Beauty services, including body massages, manicures and waxes, were allowed to resume as of Monday 13 July.

    On June 23 after outlining plans to open hair salons, Boris Johnson told the House of Commons, “We also intend to allow some other close contact services such as nail bars to reopen as soon as we can when we are confident that they can operate in a Covid-secure way.”

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    However, this didn’t include facials.

    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).

    Restrictions will be lifted on all types of facials, from relaxing facial massage, to more technical facials like microdermabrasion treatments or derma rolling. 

    Are facials safe? 

    The main new measure in place will be more PPE for the beauty therapist, who will be wearing a mask and gloves in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

    “We actually started trialling our facials using gloves, just before lockdown began.

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    “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 the therapist will be required to wear one at all times. 

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

    There are a number of social distancing measures being upheld already in salons throughout the country. 

    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?

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