Beauty salons back open but easing still 'not enough' for some businesses to survive

Beauty salons, nail bars and tattoo shops are to open for the first time in four months as part of the latest relaxation of lockdown restrictions in England.

Paige Hickman, 23, owns the Eden Beauty Rooms in Sedgley
Paige Hickman, 23, owns the Eden Beauty Rooms in Sedgley

Spas, massage studios and physical therapy businesses were able to welcome customers again from today.

But businesses will be required to meet coronavirus guidelines, and restrictions on treatments which involve work directly in front of the face will not be available.

Government guidance states that face waxing, eyelash treatments, make-up application and facials should not be provided because of the greater risk of Covid-19 transmission.

One beauty salon owner has said she feels anxious about reopening and feels the limited treatments she is allowed to carry out will put her business in danger of closure.

Paige Hickman, aged 23 and from Sedgley, bought her salon Eden Beauty Rooms just before lockdown in February and because of this has not been able to open to customers.

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She is now able to offer limited treatments including manicures, pedicures and spray tans but Paige is fearful that the limitations will impact her business, and is frustrated at the Government's decision to not include salons in the reduction of VAT, something which she said would have been a 'massive help'.

She said: "I wish I could say I was relieved that we can reopen, but I'm very anxious - there's a possibility I will have to close before I even open.

Paige bought the salon just before lockdown was introduced

"Other beauticians feel the same, some have lost customers because they are going to someone who is offering treatments that aren't permitted on the side because they are desperate.

"I think it is a mistake and there is no logic behind it - a man can get his beard trimmed, but a lady can't get her upper lip waxed."

Paige's salon specialises in skin treatments, such as dermaplaning and micro-needling - which are not currently permitted.

She added: "The treatments we are allowed to do is not where the money is made, it is the specialist treatments where we make the majority of our money.

"We also can't take walk-ins anymore which will have an impact.

Paige's salon specialises in skin treatments which are still not permitted

"The virus isn't going anywhere, how long can we operate like this? We need to move forward."

It comes after a Staffordshire woman was left in tears due to the lack of precautions at her local salon.

Heather Sutton, a policy adviser from Alrewas, claimed she was told by a member of staff cutting her hair that she was not wear a visor – despite Government guidance stating she should – because they "were horrible and steamed up".

She said: "I actually cried when I got out of the salon as I’ve followed every rule since lockdown and that was really my first venture out. I came home, showered and put all my clothes in the wash.

"I have since emailed her telling her I won’t be returning and why and saying she should put her customers’ health and safety first."

What will change as beauty salons reopen?

– What can reopen?

Nail bars in England will be allowed to reopen on July 13, along with beauty salons, spas and physical therapy businesses.

Tattoo and massage studios and piercing services will also be allowed to reopen their doors as well as tanning salons.

Both fixed and freelance workers have been given the green light to resume services by the Government.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Enabling these often small, independent businesses to reopen is yet another step in our plan to kickstart the economy to support jobs and incomes across the country.”

– What will be different?

Screens and barriers will be in place between customers and staff in many premises, with increased surface cleaning and hand washing enforced.

You will be likely to see more disposable equipment, and skin to skin contact will be avoided where possible.

The new measures will spell the end of a spontaneous treatment in many salons, as businesses are asked to consider using appointment-only booking systems to minimise the number of people on site at one time.

London Fashion Week February 2020
Nail treatments are back on the menu from Monday (Aaron Chown/PA)

You will also see the end of a cup of tea with your mani-pedi, as food and drink other than water are likely to be banned.

– What about social distancing?

Customer chairs will be spread out, which may reduce the number of appointments your favourite salon can host.

If two-metre distancing cannot be maintained, for example when providing treatments, the person providing the service should wear extra protection.

This may include a clear visor that covers the face, in addition to screens and gloves.

Coronavirus – Sun Jul 12, 2020
Businesses will have to comply with enhanced cleaning and protective measures (Martin Rickett/PA)

– What treatments can I get?

Like many other businesses forced to close during the lockdown, nail salons and beauty parlours will also be offering a reduced service.

Only treatments that avoid work directly in front of the face will be allowed.

This means nail treatments, leg and bikini waxing and massages will be back on the menu from Monday.

-What treatments are not allowed?

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said there would be restrictions on “particularly high-risk services” from beauticians.

As directly in front of the face has been deemed the highest risk zone by the Government, face waxing, sugaring, eyebrow and eyelash treatments, facials and make-up application will not be allowed until advice changes.

Coronavirus – Sun Jul 12, 2020
Only some treatments will be permitted under the new measures (Joe Giddens/PA)

– What other changes will there be?

Businesses will be asked to keep records of customers and staff to share with NHS Test and Trace if needed.

Employers will have also performed a risk assessment to ensure their premises are Covid secure, and have been asked to display a notice to confirm this to visitors.

– What businesses are still to open?

Indoor gyms, swimming pools and sports facilities are to reopen from July 25 under recently announced guidance.

The guidance also supports the reopening of sports halls which will allow the return of sports such as badminton and volleyball.

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