Days after salon owners were given the green light to reopen, the UK government has warned the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) it will shut down hair and beauty salons if safety guidelines are disregarded.
In response to the fresh warnings from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the NHBF has introduced its #DoItRight campaign to ensure hair and beauty professionals are clued up on guidelines.
According to the group, salon owners in England should: wear a visor, use a booking-only system, wash hands frequently, use screens, frequently clean and disinfect surfaces and contact clients prior to visiting to check if they have symptoms.
In a statement it said: “The NHBF want to stress how important it is for everyone in the hair, beauty and barbering industries to follow the guidelines and operate a Covid-secure way to protect yourselves, your employees, clients and to protect the industry from being locked down again.”
“We have worked hard to ensure hair and beauty salons, barbershops and individual professionals can get back to work but because some are failing to follow the guidelines, they are putting the whole industry at risk,” said NHBF’s CEO Hilary Hall.
“We’ve launched our #DoItRight campaign to help hair and beauty businesses across the UK understand the guidelines that apply in their part of the country.
“The last thing any of us want is to face further restrictions, further lockdowns or a second spike in coronavirus infections.”
Hall also noted that these threats could provide “devastating” for the sector, as full services were only allowed to resume on 15 August.
Speaking to Cosmetics Business Carolyn Harris and Judith Cummins, co-chairs of the APPG on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing, also expressed the importance of following the guidelines.
They said: “It is vitally important for practitioners in the industry to follow the government’s safety guidelines to ensure their safety and the safety of the public.
“The impact of lockdown has already been devastating to the hair, beauty and wellness industry and everyone must play their part in ensuring the sector remains open for business.”
Meanwhile, in an open letter to the government, Ria-Jaine Lincoln, a lash and nail technician, expressed her concern for professionals who have been unable to work since the lockdown was enforced.
“These businesses have been completely shut since late March, with no alternative or way to innovate to bring in even a trickle of income during the lockdown,” she noted.
The accountant also accused the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson of showing “no compassion or respect” for the sector.
“Yes, we need to ensure people are safe and Covid secure, but we also need to ensure people are treated fairly and you have not shown fairness in the decisions that you have applied to your strategy in easing lockdown.
“You have not even given beauty businesses a chance to show that they are Covid secure.”
Cosmetics Business has reached out to BEIS for further comment.