Monday, 26 Oct 2020

Hairdressers and beauty salons can stay open in coronavirus hotspots

Hairdressers and beauty salons in coronavirus hotspots are allowed to stay open despite other businesses being hit by restrictions.

Pubs and bars in areas deemed ‘very high risk’ will be forced to close under a new Three Tier lockdown system unveiled today.

Currently, the Liverpool City Region (LCR) is the only area which has been placed in the top tier, with authorities also agreeing to close leisure centres, gyms, betting shops and casinos.

These particular restrictions will not necessarily apply to other areas plunged in the tier three bracket at a later date.

Tier three requires bars and pubs to shut at a minimum but allows local leaders to impose extra restrictions if necessary.

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It means hairdressers and beauty salons will not automatically have to close in areas with the highest infection rates.

This will come as welcome news to those in the beauty industry who had to shut for three months during the first national lockdown.

A recent survey by the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) revealed that more than 40% of salons do not know whether they will survive until Christmas.

Fears of a second lockdown, an increase in home-working and a fall in social events has led to a decline in demand for pricey and high maintenance colour and cuts, salon owners say.

A second wave of enforced closures could have forced many to close their doors for good.

Hairdressers and beauty salons were told they could reopen in July as long as they followed strict coronavirus guidelines, such as equipping all staff with PPE and asking customers to wear masks.

The Government say measures are being targeted at pubs and bars because outside of households mixing, the highest place in incidence of likely transmission is in hospitality.

Ministers have claimed pubs are responsible for a third of coronavirus outbreaks – though economists have said evidence to support this is weak.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has previously announced that the Government will cover two thirds of employees wages if their place of work is forced to shut again.

The tiers in the new system are as follows:

  • Tier 1 – Medium risk – Where most of the UK sits at the moment
  • Tier 2 – High risk – Where any areas in local lockdown now sit
  • Tier 3 – Very High risk – the highest tier that certain areas will be escalated to if infection rates do not decline

Most parts of the country will be covered by the medium alert, which means current national measures such as the rule of six and 10pm curfew will remain in place.

The high alert level reflects interventions in many areas already subject to local restrictions, preventing mixing between different households indoors. This includes Greater Manchester as well as Nottinghamshire, East and West Cheshire and a small area of High Peak.

Areas under the Very High alert level will also been banned from mixing with friends and family indoors and in private gardens.

Defending the new system today, Boris Johnson said a standardised simplified lockdown system was the only solution to avoid a national lockdown and allow parts of the economy to remain open.

Today’s announcement comes after bleak warnings from scientists that there are more coronavirus patients in hospitals in areas with the highest rates of the virus now than before the UK went into lockdown in March.

NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis made the startling announcement during a Downing Street briefing on the second wave currently sweeping across the UK.

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