Will hairdressers close in England?
Hair salons across England have been forced to close under new lockdown rules, Boris Johnson has announced. Under the severe restrictions, announced in a press conference at Downing Street on Saturday October 31st, the government announced the closure of all non-essential businesses, including hair salons.
The severe nationwide lockdown, which will surpass tier three restrictions, will begin on Thursday, November 5th, and is expected to last throughout the whole of November, until December 2nd. After this date, it is expected that different parts of the country will adopt an exit strategy, and will continue to follow the restrictions from the existing tier system, depending on the severity of infection in the local area.
Under the pre-lockdown tier-system, hairdressers tier 3 were still allowed to remain open with the local authorities approval. Therefore, hair salons are likely to reopen after the new lockdown measures ease in early December.
Can mobile hairdressers still work?
Under the tough lockdown measures, which will begin in England on Thursday, November 5th, all hairdressers will have to close. Rules of latest lockdown force all non-essential retail and beauty services to close, and the mixing of households, except for childcare and other forms of support, are banned. This means that alongside the closure of hair salons, mobile hairdressers will also have to stop work, until December 2nd, at least.
What happens if I have an appointment booked during lockdown?
If you have an appointment booked during lockdown, it will have to be cancelled. However, many hairdressers have already extended their opening hours from Sunday, November 1st to Wednesday, November 4th, to fit in extra appointments. It is advised to get in touch with your hairdresser to rearrange ahead of Thursday 5th.
What financial support will hairdressers get?
For businesses that can apply for furlough, the scheme is being extended throughout November 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.
"This is the second time round for a national lockdown, we at least have a taskforce in place, and direct connection with government as well as constant communications," Millie Kendall MBE, Chief Executive of the British Beauty Council tells the Telegraph. She added "We didn't have that back in March. The Prime Minister's announcement mentions non-essential retail which personal care businesses fall under, and he mentioned an extension of furlough.
"I am not sure this is enough to sustain our businesses. The first task will be to ensure that our Personal Care businesses including salons, retail and mobiles are protected financially from further damage. This will be an ask for grants, and we will push for a longer term recovery plan and chopping the VAT is essential."
Luke Hersheson owns five salons in London, and is urgently calling the government for support. "We seem to get lost as an industry, so we need to ensure we get the VAT reduction, and business rates relief needs to be extended for another year. We all run of very little reserved cash flow, and are due to make tax payments imminently; this all needs to be deferred if we have any hope of bouncing back as an industry."