With the ever-changing information out there about coronavirus, it can be overwhelming to know what to do, especially if you’re self-employed or run a small salon business. From closing your business to help with paying wages, we’ve rounded up some of the most frequently asked questions to keep you up-to-date with the latest news.
Can I open my salon/beauty business?
At present, the guidance differs across the UK. Here are the current regulations:
- On Saturday 31st October, the government announced that England would be going back into a lockdown. The new lockdown rules will begin on Thursday 5th November and remain in place until Wednesday 2nd December. Non-essential businesses must close, which includes “personal care facilities such as hair, beauty and nail salons, tattoo parlours, spas, massage parlours, body and skin piercing services, non-medical acupuncture, and tanning salons”. Full guidelines and business closures can be viewed here.
- From Friday 20th November, 11 council areas in Scotland will be under the strictest tier 4 regulations. Non-essential retail in these areas must close, which includes “close contact services, such as hairdressers and beauty salons, visitor attractions, leisure and entertainment settings and indoor gyms”. These level 4 restrictions will remain in place until 11th December. Those in tier 4 areas must not travel out of their council area except for “certain essential purposes”. Close contact treatments can still go ahead for those in areas not under tier 4 restrictions. You can read more on each of Scotland’s local tier restrictions here.
- The Welsh firebreak lockdown has now ended and beauty salons, including those performing close contact treatments, can reopen as long as they are following the correct hygiene and safety measures. More information on the post-lockdown regulations in Wales can be found here.
- In Northern Ireland, all close contact beauty services can open for a week from Friday 20th November, but will have to close again for a further two weeks from Friday 27th November. Information on financial support packages is due early next week. Further details on the NI regulations can be found here.
What are the local Covid-19 alert levels?
On 2nd November, Scotland introduced their local alert tier system. There are currently 5 tiers, ranging from the lowest level 0 up to the tightest restrictions in tier 4. At present, close contact treatments can go ahead with the current hygiene and safety measures in tiers 0 – 3. Salons and beauty services in tier 4 areas will have to close, as per the restrictions on non-essential retail. More information on the tier system and regulations within each tier can be found here.
Local alert levels do not currently apply in England, but may return. On Thursday 5th November until Wednesday 2nd December, the local alert levels will be replaced by an England-wide national lockdown. At the end of the lockdown, the government will review data and the regional approach may return. Salons and therapists in tier 1 (medium) or tier 2 (high) are not currently impacted. Those in tier 3 (very high) may have to close, but should refer to their local authority for further guidance. More information on these levels can be found here.
Local alert levels do not currently apply to Wales and Northern Ireland.
Where can I find the latest government updates about the beauty sector?
The National Hair & Beauty Federation are well-established as the largest authoritative voice of the UK hairdressing, barbering & beauty sector. They have been updating the sector regularly on all of the latest government news & info. You can stay in the know with their latest updates by following them on Facebook or Instagram.
What support is available for self-employed people unable to work because of coronavirus?
The chancellor, Rishi Sunak, announced that the government is launching a new Self-employment Income Support Scheme. This is a taxable grant worth 80% of average profits over the last 3 years, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The fund is open to those who make the majority of their earnings from self-employment. It’s only available to those with a tax return for 2019; those who missed the deadline have an additional 4 weeks to submit. This scheme is now up-and-running. The fund will cover you for 3 months and may be extended, if necessary. For more information or to make a claim, head to the GOV UK website.
I’m struggling to keep up with the latest coronavirus news. What can I do?
The government are doing daily updates via BBC news, but if you don’t have access to watch or are just struggling to take it all in, follow @simplepolitics on Instagram. They post simple, bitesize chunks of the latest news and make it really clear to understand. Be sure to keep up with BBC News and Gov UK when you can, too. For beauty industry related news, the British Beauty Council and the NHBF are good sources of information.
What is statutory sick pay and how do I know if I’m entitled to it?
If you are self-isolating due to coronavirus, you may be eligible for statutory sick pay. You can check your eligibility here.
What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how can I apply?
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was a temporary scheme set up by the UK government to support employers whose operations have been seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary scheme in place since 1st March 2020 and comes to an end at the end of October. Due to the second English lockdown, the government announced they would be extending furlough until the end of the month.
What are my rights as an employer or business during the coronavirus pandemic?
The latest government advice for businesses during this time can be found here.
What are my rights as an employee during the coronavirus pandemic?
The latest government advice for employees during this time can be found here.
What is the difference between social distancing and self isolating?
The current advice from the government is that we should all be socially distancing, regardless of how we’re feeling. This is to slow the spread of the virus, protect the most vulnerable in society and take the burden off the NHS. This involves staying at home where possible and staying 2 metres away from others when out in public.
If you are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus or have been in contact with someone who displays symptoms, you must self-isolate for at least 7 days. Full information on this can be found on the GOV UK website.
What are the symptoms of coronavirus?
The main symptoms of covid-19 are a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature. If you are displaying any of these symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately. Be sure to read the current NHS advice on covid-19.
All information correct as of 20/11/20. We will work to ensure this document is updated with the latest information.
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