Thursday 9 July 2020 8:20 pm

Beauty salons, massage parlours and gyms set to reopen in England next week

Beauty salons, nail bars, tattoo studios, massage parlours, spas and gyms are set to reopen next week after months of closure during the coronavirus crisis, the government announced today, though facial treatments will remain prohibited under strict social distancing measures. 

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden today said: “Having allowed hairdressers to reopen, beauticians, tattooists, spas, tanning salons and other close contact services can now do the same, I am pleased to say.”

Read more: Swimming pools and gyms could reopen later in July

The new measures will take effect from Monday 13 July, but will come with strict social distancing requirements.

Beard trimming will be allowed under the new rules, but should be limited to “simple beard trims, thinning or removing bulk or length which can be done using either clippers or scissors”, the British Beauty Council said in a statement.

However, intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards and moustaches will remain DIY jobs, as prolonged attention on the “high-risk” facial area is considered to carry a higher risk of spreading coronavirus. 

Treatments on the body such as manicures, pedicures, leg or bikini waxing will be allowed to go ahead, however eyelash treatment, eyebrow threading, facial electrolysis, professional makeup, dermaplaning and microblading will all be forbidden.

The new rules apply to all beauty practitioners in England, including those working in salon spaces as well as freelancers, mobile operators, and retail and session makeup artists.

Business secretary Alok Sharma said: “We have been clear throughout this crisis that we want as many businesses as possible to reopen, but we must be confident it is safe for them to do so.

“From Monday 13 July thousands more businesses which offer close contact services like nail and beauty salons will be able to welcome customers back in a way that is safe for both workers and the public.

“Enabling these often small, independent businesses to reopen is yet another step in our plan to kickstart the economy to support jobs and incomes across the country.”

Millie Kendall, chief executive of the British Beauty Council, said: “The decision to broaden the scope of available hair and beauty services will allow many more beauty professionals to get back to work, and will also allow customers to benefit from a range of beauty treatments which can be carried out safely for both client and practitioner. 

“It’s a positive step, but we are still only part of the way there. We will keep working closely with governing bodies and supporting everyone in beauty until we are able to achieve the fully-reinvigorated beauty industry we all want.”

Beauty salons and gyms had previously vented their fury after being exempted from a list of venues, including hairdressers, bars and pubs, allowed to reopen last weekend after being deemed unsafe.

Glenn Earlam, chief executive of David Lloyd Clubs, which has 100 venues across Britain, called the step “completely illogical”, while Puregym, one of the UK’s largest operators with more than 1m members, said it was “a strange war on obesity that sees pubs and restaurants open before gyms”.

Commenting on Dowden’s announcement today, a spokesperson for Puregym said: “We are delighted to be able to open our 220 gyms in England.”

“We have, in close consultation with medical experts and thegovernment, developed rigorous protocols to ensure the safety of our members… We are confident that the many measures we have taken including improving hygiene, controlling numbers, introducing social distancing and many others will make our gyms safe places to work and safe places to workout.”

Mike Cherry, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, welcomed the move from the government, adding that it would provide relief from “unprecedented struggles” experienced by the health and beauty sectors during lockdown.

Read more: What pubs, cinemas and hairdressers will look like under new lockdown rules

“It’s good news to see thegovernment announce the reopening of thousands more small firms across England,” he said. “Beauticians, nail salons, gyms and the wider fitness sector have faced months without customers, and they’ll be pleased to see that they can finally get back to business.

“What’s crucial now is that the government supports those smallest businesses as they prepare to reopen in a safe and compliant way to protect and safeguard the health of both staff and customers alike. This support should include clear guidance on the rules of reopening with regards to social distancing as well as face masks and other safety precautions.”

Before the Open: Get the jump on the markets with our early morning newsletter