Boris Johnson has announced that hair and beauty salons in England will reopen on April 12th, after more than three months of closure, causing hairdressers and salon owners to hit out at the government, with some urging them to cut VAT.
Speaking to parliament today the the Prime Minster said salons, non-essential retail, and personal care premises such as salons will be open ‘no earlier’ than April 12th.
The new provision allows close contact services, such as eyelash and eyebrow treatments to reopen at the same time. In July, following the easing of lockdown restrictions barbers were allowed to offer to trim beards and eyebrows, but there was still a ban on beauty salons offering facial treatments, causing a sexism row.
Paul Bryan, hair salon owner and founder of hair care brand A Stylist’s Secret told to FEMAIL the industry has endured an ‘unsustainable year’ and hopes for a tax-break.
While others have reiterated that salons are Covid-safe and bemoaned not being able to open sooner.
Boris Johnson has announced that hair and beauty salons will reopen on April 12th, after more than three months of closure, causing hairdressers and salon owners to hit out at the government. Stock image pictures
Paul told FEMAIL: ‘To be honest, as a salon, we have prepped ourselves for beginning of April for reopening but anything sooner is a bonus.
‘From our perspective, we should be open anyway, as all professional salons have been made Covid safe so appointment only services should be allowed.
When will hairdressers re-open?
Non-essential retail and personal care premises including hairdressers, salons and close contact services (such as nail bars) will be allowed to reopen at step 2 (no earlier than May 17), but should only be visited alone or with household groups.
The same applies to indoor leisure facilities such as gyms and spas – but not including saunas and steam rooms, which are due to open at Step 3 (at least five weeks after step 2, no earlier than May 17).
‘Salon owners have had no income for most of the year. Whilst furlough has been a help for the teams as a whole, owners still have overheads with zero sales which is unsustainable for most.
‘The initial grant was a big help but let’s not forget its taxed which was never publicised.
‘For salons that employ stylists, its essential the good work being done by the beauty council and many supportive editors is acted on by the Government because VAT needs to reduced, salons have very little to claim VAT back on as it’s a service and many clients don’t even realise there is VAT on a haircut…
‘The majority of salons will need time to recoup losses and get back on track, so chop the VAT please.
Ricky Walters, director of SALON64, added to FEMAIL: ‘This lockdown has been hard for us all and hairdressers are no exception.
‘With the population all suffering with overgrown hair and hairdressers itching to get back behind the chair, we are all watching in hope of a plan where we can all open our salons again.
‘For every month we are unable to open, it not only puts small businesses under more and more pressure but it also means certain chaos once the industry is given the green light to open.
‘Our waiting list is fast becoming into the thousands yet again and takes a skilled slick operation to be able to turn these bookings into an organised reality.
‘Clients are still contacting the salon daily, desperate to be front of the queue ready for when we can all reopen and another month or so in lockdown will prove very disappointing not just for hairdressers but for clients also.
‘Hairdressers thrive on conversation, good times and a buzzy atmosphere. With hairdressers still permanently in hibernation, we are having to find other ways to let off steam and continue communicating with our clients. Video consultations have proven hugely popular for both hairdressers and clients alike and everybody welcoming the opportunity to mimic a past reality.
Ricky Walters, director of SALON64, added to FEMAIL: ‘This lockdown has been hard for us all and hairdressers are no exception’
‘Salons are not particularly designed to be an “all or nothing business”. We have to use lockdown to really try and come up with creative ideas on how to keep up with such demand once able to reopen.
‘Sadly so many salons will not reopen this time round and I truly hope we will be able to sit in a packed salon, sipping cocktails and laughing with our hairdressers in the very near future.
Ricky added: ‘Businesses are built on cash flow, word of mouth and quick growth. Something lockdowns are sure to eradicate.
‘Small businesses are forced to stop “thriving mode” and enter “surviving mode”.
‘Where simply still having a brand, a presence and a demand to reopen is a huge achievement. At only 3 years old, our growth has had to temporarily slow down while we readjust to yet another lockdown.
‘Where the business is used to growing at an alarming rate year on year, it truly has put a huge barrier in our business model. That said, I predict once lockdowns are all over for good and the vaccine is rolled out, salons will be the first to celebrate with clients coming in their thousands.
Beauticians and salon owners have also commented alongside hairdressers saying they hope their business can survive another two months. Leisa Roberts, Founder of Brow HQ told FEMAIL: ‘Whilst we are in agreement that the easing of lockdown has to take place extremely cautiously, it is such a worry for us and we don’t know how much longer our business can survive.
‘We have exhausted all the bounce back loan options and need to get back to some normality soon if we are going to pull through. Our environment is super safe and we operate a one in one out system so feel confident we can operate effectively whilst keeping our clients safe.
Announcing his long-awaited four-phase exit strategy, the PM warned the ‘threat remains’ and cases, hospitalisations and deaths will rise in the coming months as no vaccines can offer 100 per cent protection for the whole population.
‘At every stage our decisions will be led by data not dates,’ the premier told MPs.
Aimee Purser, Beauty Therapist & Founder of Aimee Purser Beauty added: ‘If the hair and beauty industry is forced to remain closed for another few months it will have a detrimental effect on so many salons and small businesses like my own.
‘Many of us are just about surviving with our businesses being closed and our livelihoods being taken away.
Announcing his long-awaited four-phase exit strategy, the PM warned the ‘threat remains’ and cases, hospitalisations and deaths will rise in the coming months as no vaccines can offer 100 per cent protection for the whole population
‘There is not enough government funding to cover salon overheads and to live on without getting into masses of debt. Not only financially, but mentally it will be a huge struggle.
‘We were forced to close two weeks before Christmas which is our busiest time of the year and would have given so many people an opportunity to make up for some of the loss of earnings, I really hope this doesn’t happen again before the summer. We have all of the safety measures in place to reopen and comply with Covid guidelines and ensure our clients feel safe and comfortable.
Mr Johnson said there will be a five-week gap between the main steps in the roadmap, even longer than had been anticipated. He said it takes four weeks to assess the impact of each step, and the country needs a week’s notice for changes. Going any faster could mean having to reimpose the lockdown, he said.
‘I won’t take that risk,’ Mr Johnson said.
He admitted that the surging vaccine drive had encouraged many to think it is possible to ‘go faster’.
‘I understand their frustration and I sympathise very much with the exhaustion and the stress that people are experiencing and businesses are experiencing… but to them I say the end really is in sight.’
The PM confirmed that all schools will reopen from March 8.
Johnson first addressed the nation on January 4th and explained England would go into another lockdown the following day, January 5th.
Under current rules, all salons and barbers are shut to reduce social contact, the regulations require some businesses to close and impose restrictions on how some businesses provide goods and services.
The guidance states that personal care facilities such as hair, beauty, tanning and nail salons must close.
Tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services must also close.
These services should not be provided in other people’s homes.
By contrast, hair salon owners in Wales may be able to re-open their doors within four weeks – the same time that non-essential shops will welcome customers once again.
Wales First Minister Mark Drakeford told BBC Breakfast on Friday: ‘If it is possible from March 15 to begin the reopening of some aspects of non-essential retail and personal services such as hairdressing then…that is what we would want to do.’