When will nail salons reopen in the UK? Here's the latest advice

When will nail salons reopen in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland? We need that pre-Christmas manicure...

model having nails painted backstage - when will nail salons open?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

When will nail salons reopen? It's the question that's been on many a mani fan's lips for the last couple of weeks as we edge ever closer to Christmas.

On the of 5th November a second month-long national lockdown began in England in a bid to help control the spread of Coronavirus.

Along with pubs, restaurants and non-essential shops, all beauty services have had to close until the 2nd of December – including nail bars.

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The four-week long restrictions apply to pubs, restaurants, museums and art galleries – as well as those all-important nail salons – with non-essential shops also forced to close.

Read more on Beauty services reopening

Following the first lockdown, which began on the 22nd of March, nail salons were allowed to reopen from 13th July if they were ‘covid secure’ – that is, with extra hygiene and social distancing measures in place. But the new lockdown measures meant they had to close their doors once more.

The latest restrictions have left many wondering when similar businesses, such as nail bars, hairdressers, beauty salons and massage therapists, will be allowed to start back up.

When will nail salons reopen in the UK?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that all non-essential shops, which includes nail salons, will re-open in England is 2nd of December when the lockdown ends. 

Local restrictions will follow the pre-lockdown tier system, although many areas are expected to move up a tier, which the PM will confirm on Thursday. Unless extra measures are introduced locally, beauty salons will be able to resume under all three tier levels. 

In Scotland, those in tier 4 areas (where nail salons must close)  will be able to get their nails done when they move back down to tier 3, which depends on the relevant area's timeline. For example, Glasgow is one of 11 areas that will be in tier 4 for three weeks from Friday 20th November. 

Let's hope the situation improves and nail bars won't be closed for months – if this lockdown matches the first, nail salons won't reopen until March 2021!

Are nail salons open in Scotland?

Under Scotland's four-tier system, "close contact services" can continue from a salon or home treatment room in areas within tiers 2 and 3, as can mobile haircuts. All other mobile services are limited to tier 1. Beauty treatments are not allowed within tier 4. 

Are nail salons open in Wales?

In Wales, a fire break lockdown took place from 6pm on Friday 23rd of October until Monday 9th of November. Hairdressers and beauty salons offering close contact services have been allowed to reopen since then, provided they take "all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus".

Are nail salons open in Northern Ireland?

Almost! Close contact services will be allowed to reopen from Friday 20th November by appointment only. This follows a circuit-breaker lockdown that began on Friday 16th October, and was extended by one week on Friday 13th November.

Are nail salons open in England?

Nail bars are currently closed in England as part of the current circuit break lockdown, which began on the 5th of November. This is due to end on Wednesday 2nd December, but this may be pushed back depending on the country's Covid figures. 

MORE: This is the hairdressing service you may not be able to have once salons reopen

When can nail bars open in the UK?

(Image credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Can nail salons open in Tier 3?

While officially the guidelines allow for salons and mobile beauty businesses to remain open, local authorities may enforce additional rules. When Nottingham moved into tier 3 all beauty services, including nail salons, were forced to close. Only hairdressers and barbers remained open, but could not carry out "personal care work" that wasn't a haircut.

Meanwhile West Yorkshire did not choose to impose additional restrictions on the beauty industry when it moved into tier 3, meaning that nail salons and hairdressers could still operate.

Can nail salons open in Tier 2?

Yes. While restrictions are in place for socialising, under Tier 2 rules beauty salons, nail bars and hairdressers are all able to stay open provided that hygiene and social distancing measures are in place. 

How to get a nail appointment when salons reopen

Should nail bars open on the 2nd of December, it’s likely that you'll need a pre-booked appointment, especially given that the festive season will be in full swing by then.

And while work Christmas parties will look very different this year, many will still want their nails looking their best to raise a glass over Zoom or present opening on Christmas Day.

With the reduction in the number of people allowed inside at any one time, it’s likely fewer people will be able to have their nails done at once to allow space for 1m+ social distancing.

Beauty booking sites like Treatwell will save you Googling "nail salons near me", with appointments often available on the same day.

That said, you don’t have to wait for nail bars to open again to get a salon-worthy manicure or pedicure. Try one at home yourself with our recommendations for the best at-home gel nail products for a DIY manicure in lockdown.

With nails bars not reopening for the foreseeable future, it's one way to relax before you're finally back in the salon.