The government has announced that the current lockdown will continue for at least three more weeks.
Before restrictions can be lifted, the government wants to see a clear and steady drop in death rates and the rate of new infections slowing down. Right now, there little evidence to show that the spread of the virus is well and truly under control, and lifting lockdown too early runs the risk of the virus continuing to spread, and would cause more long term damage to both public health and the economy.
A recent NHBF Member survey suggests that most (95%) are expecting to re-open their hair salons, barbershops or beauty salons once the lockdown is lifted. But the longer the lockdown continues, the harder it will be to survive. Many salons and barbershops are now dependent on government grants or loans, but said they could not survive for more than two months, even if the money comes through.
Ian Egerton, NHBF president said, “Despite the economic pressures, the extended lockdown shows that it isn’t safe for UK salons and barbershops to re-open in the immediate future. The world has changed and things won’t simply go back to how they were. Many people – employees and clients – will be nervous about catching or spreading the virus even when the lockdown is lifted. My salon is in a busy area of London and I think it will be a long time before people will feel comfortable mixing with others in the workplace or on public transport. It is impossible to avoid physical contact in salons and it’s hard to see how social distancing can be maintained. These were the reasons why we urged the government to order salons to shutdown, even though initially they didn’t impose any restrictions.”
Hilary Hall, NHBF chief executive added, “We believe that extending the current lockdown is the right thing to do until the coronavirus is under control. In the meantime, we’re urging the government to work with us on a plan to lift restrictions. It must be clear which businesses can re-open, when they can re-open and what restrictions will apply. Many salons and barbershops will be worried about staff and client safety so it’s vital that they get clear guidance on issues like how social distancing will work in practice for salons and barbershops, what personal protective equipment must be worn – not only by the people working in salons and barbershops, but also by clients. The government must continue its commitment to supporting businesses which have to remain closed to protect public safety.”
For more details, please visit the NHBF Coronavirus hub: www.nhbf.co.uk/coronavirus