Can hairdressers and beauty salons reopen in tier 2 and 3?

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Prime minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that England’s four-week lockdown will end on 2 December but a new three-tier system will be introduced.

The prime minister explained restrictions will be tougher than those announced in October in a bid to drive the coronavirus transmission rate down ahead of Christmas.

On Thursday Matt Hancock confirmed which areas would fall under tier 1, 2, and 3 for the first time. You can find out what tier your local area is in using the government postcode checker here.

Read more: Covid tier rules: Everything you can and can’t do in tiers 1, 2 and 3 after lockdown

So, what does this mean for hairdressers and beauty salons? Here’s everything you need to know.

Can hairdressers and beauty salons open after lockdown?

The government has confirmed that, as part of its Covid winter plan, the “personal care” sector can reopen.

This means hair, nail and beauty salons across England will be able to open their doors on 2 December.

The news will come as a huge relief for hair and beauty salon owners, who feared they would miss out on vital custom in the run up to Christmas if the lockdown was extended.

The government website states that services permitted to reopen from this date include hairdressers and barbers, beauty salons, tattoo parlours, nail salons, spas and beauty services, massage parlours and tanning salons.

Read more: Which tier am I in? How to check the alert level in your area

Are the rules for salons different in each tier?

No. While some measures are different for each tier, the government has confirmed that the rules regarding hair salons and personal care businesses are the same across all regions.

This means that all close contact services can resume in a Covid-secure manner, regardless of what tier they are in.

Why were hairdressers and salons forced to close?

Hairdressers and beauty salons were forced to temporarily close in March for the duration of the first lockdown before temporarily opening their doors over the summer.

However, they had to shut once again in November as restrictions were reintroduced across following an increase in coronavirus cases.

The government made the decision to close hairdressers, barbers and other “close contact services” due to the proximity between customers and employees, arguing that social distancing is not possible here.

Read more: Weddings after lockdown: What are the new rules for tier 2 and 3?

How safe is it to visit a salon?

When beauty businesses were allowed to reopen on 4 July, a host of extra safety measures were put in place to help prevent the further spread of Covid-19.

Now, all close contact businesses are required to keep a temporary record of clients for 21 days and must operate an appointment-only system.

As social distancing is not possible, clients and hairdressers must both wear face masks or a visor. Similarly, communal magazines are also no longer on display and contactless for all payments are encouraged.

Dr Robert Dingwall, professor of sociology at Nottingham Trent University previously told The Independent: “Hairdressers do not spend a lot of time face-to-face with customers, the interaction is through the mirror normally. In a sense the customer’s best protection is having confidence in the standards of these places which are used to being sterile anyway.”