Coronavirus lockdown: when will hair salons reopen in the UK?

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We might still be waiting a while – but hair salons have now begun reopening in some European countries, giving us an idea of what the future of hair care might look like…

By Jessica Rapana

It’s been nine weeks since the UK went into lockdown on 23 March to stop the spread of COVID-19 during the global coronavirus pandemic. During these past few months, many services have been forced to close – including hair salons – seeing some of us turn to the desperate measure of cutting our own hair at home, whether trimming our fringes or split-ends. So, when can we return to our hairdresser for some long-awaited maintenance?

On 10 May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a roadmap to lifting lockdown measures and reopening the country, based on a Covid Alert System, starting with some restrictions being eased from 13 May, including those on exercise. The Prime Minister also signalled that some schools and retailers would be able to reopen in June and hospitality services may be able to reopen as early as July. So what does this mean for hair salons?

When will hair salons reopen in the UK?

It looks like we are still going to be waiting a while until hair salons reopen.

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab confirmed that hairdressers and beauty salons will not open until 4 July at the “very earliest”.

“We’ll look at other sectors and that will include hospitality, but it will also include personal care and people like hairdressers,” Raab said. “Obviously the proximity [within salons]… is something where we just don’t think we are ready yet, given where we are with the virus.”

Hairdressers and beauty salons will not open until 4 July at the “very earliest”.

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These comments were further echoed in the government guidelines, issued on 11 May, which state: “The next step will also take place when the assessment of risk warrants further adjustments to the remaining measures. The Government’s current planning assumption is that this step will be no earlier than 4 July, subject to the five tests justifying some or all of the measures below, and further detailed scientific advice, provided closer to the time, on how far we can go.

“The ambition at this step is to open at least some of the remaining businesses and premises that have been required to close, including personal care (such as hairdressers and beauty salons) hospitality (such as food service providers, pubs and accommodation), public places (such as places of worship) and leisure facilities (like cinemas).”

How will hair salons reopen?

It’s still too soon to say what it might look like when hair salons open their doors again. However, some European countries have begun easing restrictions – and opening hair salons – which may give some indication of what the new ‘normal’ will look like in haircare.

Hairdressers in Germany have been obliged to follow new strict hygiene rules.

Hair salons across Germany opened on 4 May, answering a suppressed demand under lockdown. However, it was not back to business as usual. Hairdressers have been obliged to follow new strict hygiene rules. The Guardian reports that hair salons must keep styling chairs 1.5 metres from each other, washing hair before a cut each time (to kill off potential viruses), no magazines in the waiting area or free coffee. Both clients and hairdressers must wear face masks. Hairdressers must also wear single-use aprons and disinfect their scissors between cuts. This also meant hairdressers could now only serve one customer at a time, and as such, are still seeing a reduced pre-coronavirus trade.

In Italy, which has roughly twice as many hair and beauty salons as the UK, hairdressers reopened this week after the government announced new moves to relax lockdown measures as part of a “calculated risk” to put the country back on its feet. However, salons must limit the number of customers, who will be required to keep two metres apart, with frequent disinfectant of all areas and equipment. Hairdressers and customers must wear face masks. However, the government has recommended due to the high demand and reduced capacity, salons should be allowed to extend their opening hours and open on days when they would normally close.

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