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Government Guidelines Announced

Yesterday the Prime Minister confirmed that barbers and hairdressers in England can reopen from Saturday 4th July, including mobile and freelance barbers.

The guidelines for ensuring safe practice have now been released and state that shops can reopen for ‘services that relate to cutting or treating hair on the head only’, which suggests that for the time being, beard trims and shaves will not be possible.

The key points of the Safer Workplace guidlelines for England are:

  • All barbershops must complete a risk assessment and post evidence of this within the barbershop
  • Stick to social distancing and maintain two metres between clients where possible, or one metre with additional precautions, such as the use of screens
  • Face visors must be work by barbers for all services. Face coverings can be worn by barbers and clients, if they choose to, but are not considered a substitute for visors
  • Clients should be seen by appointment only and barbershops should keep a temporary record of clients and visitors for 21 days to support the test-and-trace system
  • Contactless payments are preferred
  • Waiting areas are allowed, but only if space permits and social distancing can be adhered to
  • No food or drinks should be consumed in the shop by clients other than water in disposable cups or bottles
  • Disposable gowns should be used however, if this is not possible, gowns should be switched between clients and cleaned thoroughly before being reused
  • The guidance does not ban the use of hairdryers
  • Regular hand washing and sanitisation of surfaces and tools

The full Safer Workplace guidelines are available to view here:

Hilary Hall, chief executive of the NHBF, says: “Although it’s great news that hairdressers and barbers in England have a confirmed opening date, these decisions have come very late in the day. We are also extremely disappointed that beauty businesses are not yet allowed to reopen, and we have always emphasised that hair and beauty should reopen at the same time. We will continue to put pressure on the government to allow beauty businesses to reopen as soon as possible, and for financial support to be extended.”

Meanwhile, Keith Conniford, CEO of the Hair and Barber Council, said: “The guidance states that these are steps that will ‘usually be needed’, which suggests that a degree of common sense is needed. Our back to work plan will work alongside this guidance, with the government guidance always taking priority if there are any conflicts.”

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