As the UK government prepares to announce new restrictions to curb the pandemic, salon owners wait with bated breath.
Later today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to lay out guidelines of the government’s three-tier system, classifying regions as medium, high or very high alert, which could see parts of the hospitality sector close in areas with high infection rates.
Gyms, casinos and pubs are expected to be impacted by the top-level restrictions, leaving the beauty sector in a precarious position.
Speaking to Cosmetics Business former nail technician Ria Lincoln said: "I would imagine most in the beauty industry are concerned that further restrictions will be imposed on the beauty sector, and this is not because we feel that the sector is unsafe at all but as a result of the increased anxiety from the way the beauty industry has been treated in the past and the last minute decisions that were made before."
She added: "Further restrictions on the beauty industry could make things very difficult for beauty businesses that are already struggling and businesses of all sizes will be impacted not only financially but emotionally as we can not forget the impact that this is also having on the mental health of business owners.
"Business owners need to review their business plan and cash flow position and whatever the outcome of todays announcement there are some serious business decisions to be made, even if the industry remains open preparations still need to be made incase a local lockdown was to occur as they have been up and down the country."
But the British Beauty Council’s (BBC) Millie Kendall told Cosmetics Business there’s little evidence that salons are hot spots for infection.
“There’s no evidence to suggest we’re not safe,” she said.
“We are Covid-secure and our infection rates, if any, are very low in our establishments.”
As a precaution, the industry body has uploaded a template letter for owners to send to their local MPs asking for the hair and beauty sector to be exempt from the tiered system.
“If something does happen, it is always very important to put pressure on your local MPs; that’s their job,” said Kendall.
The letter reads: “I am writing to seek your support for the hair, grooming, beauty, spa and wellbeing industry.
“There is concern nationwide after having been previously classified as non-essential retail that salons will be included within the businesses listed in Tier 3 local lockdown areas.”
The template has been downloaded by more than 2,000 salon owners over the weekend, according to the BBC.
Meanwhile, a study by French beauty giant L’Oréal found that 95% of hairdresser customers felt safe during their visit.
More than 90% of respondents said measures in the salon were sufficient to reduce Covid-19 risk and 95% reported the salon was clean and hygienic.
The PM is expected to make his announcement in the Commons at 3:30pm and address the nation at 6pm tonight.