Relief as hairdressers and beauty salons given April reopening date

There will be four different ‘stages’ of the reopening roadmap, and to progress through them four data ‘tests’ must be met, showing that vaccines are effective and hospitals are protected.

The chief executive of the British Beauty Council Millie Kendall tells the Telegraph: “I am relieved with the news that hair and beauty services can resume from Apr 12, and that the reopening will not be delayed into May. However we need to make sure we can get doors open with the financial package we have asked for – a £500 million fund for the beauty industry, as well as a reduction in VAT from 20 percent down to 5 percent.”

However, hairdressers and barbers have been able to reopen in Wales from Mar 15, as the country alters its lockdown rules in line with a reduction in cases and the success of the vaccine rollout. 

What are the hairdressing rules?

Hairdressing salons in England have been closed since 5 January, in the third national lockdown, despite having initially been able to operate in a Covid-secure manner in Tiers 1-3 after the second lockdown. 

Can mobile hairdressers still work?

With the introduction of a third national lockdown, all hairdressers, even mobile services, have had to halt business. They will be allowed to resume working on Apr 12.

What happens if I had an appointment booked during lockdown?

If you had an appointment booked which falls into the lockdown period, it will have been cancelled and rescheduled. However, you could continue to support your local hairdressers and beauty salons by booking treatments now, ahead of restrictions lifting on Apr 12.  

What financial support will hairdressers get?

For businesses that can apply for furlough, the scheme is being extended to this Spring with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500. In addition, business premises forced to close in England are to receive grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Also, £1.1bn is being given to Local Authorities, distributed on the basis of £20 per head, for one-off payments to enable them to support businesses more broadly. A Hairdressing Sub Committee has been set up as a branch of the British Beauty Council to push for a cut in VAT from 20 percent to 5 percent, as it has done for pubs and restaurants.

In comparison to the first lockdown which hit the beauty industry hard, Millie Kendall MBE, Chief Executive of the British Beauty Council notes, “We at least have a taskforce in place, and direct connection with government as well as constant communications”. She adds, “We didn’t have that back in March last year. The Prime Minister’s announcement mentions non-essential retail which personal care businesses fall under, and he mentioned an extension of furlough.”

Unlike other sectors within hospitality and retail, the personal care sector has not received any specific funding outside of that given to non essential retail businesses. 

“We would like to see something tailored to the services sector,” says Kendall. “They haven’t been able to transition to e-commerce in the way other retail business have, and also they have not been able to offer any takeaway services as hospitality has. In leisure, for example gyms have transitioned to online courses/classes. You just can’t get our labour intensive one to one services in any other way but by visiting a salon.

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