[Updated:] Beauty salons and spas in England allowed to reopen from July 13, with limited treatments until August 15

Update: Beauty salons and spas in England will not be allowed to offer treatments on the face until at least August 15 due to the rising R rate. 

In a conference delivered today (July 31), Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government has put the brakes on the proposed easing of restrictions, which were due to take place tomorrow, with all additional close-contact beauty treatments postponed until at least Saturday, August 15. 

Read the full story on why face treatments in England have been postponed until August 15

The below was published on July 17 and is no longer the official date:

Beauty salons and spas in England will be allowed to offer treatments on the face from August 1. Read the full story.

The UK Spa Assiociation (UKSA) has received verbal and written confirmation from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) that saunas and steam rooms can reopen from August 1.

Saunas and steam rooms can reopen on the condition that social distancing is enforced and the areas are regularly cleaned and sanitised. Face coverings are not necessary for those using the sauna or steamroom facilities, but operators of saunas and steamrooms will need to assess the facilities so that social distancing can be practised by guests. 

According to the UKSA, “This reopening is subject to social-distancing guidelines. Operators of saunas and steamrooms must calculate how many people can be accommodated at one time.

“No face coverings are to be worn in the sauna or steamroom and these facilities must be regularly cleaned.”

The announcement means that saunas and steam rooms will be permitted to reopen on the same day close-contact services, such as facials and facial waxing, can commence.

Clarity has also been given on whether or not clients will need to wear a face covering in the beauty salon or spa environment after the Government announced that the general public will be required to wear face masks in shops and supermarkets in England as of Friday, July 24. 

Membership body the National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) said on its Instagram page: "The Government has announced that members of the public must wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets from July 24 in England. Government officials have confirmed that face coverings do not need to be worn by the public in beauty salons, hairdressers or other close-contact services.

"These settings already have extensive protective measures in place including handwashing, screens, visors and social distancing. Clients may wear face coverings if they wish. Workers must wear visors but can wear face coverings as well (not instead)."


The below was published on July 9:

Beauty salons and spas across England will be relieved tonight as a new reopening date of July 13 has finally been announced.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport said, today (July 9), "having allowed hairdressers to reopen, beauticians, tatooists, spas, tanning salons and other close-contact services can now do the same, I'm pleased to say, from Monday. Of course that will be subject to some restrictions on particularly high-risk services.”

What are the restrictions on treatments?

Shortly after the statement, an updated version of the Government's guidance for Close Contact Services was published, which you can download here.

The NHBF, Babtac and British Beauty Council also released a joint statement shortly after the broadcast, stating that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has said that "no treatments on the face will be permitted".

This includes, but is not limited to: 

According to the new restrictions, "Beard trimming will be allowed, but should be limited to ‘simple beard trims, thinning or removing bulk or length which can be done using either clippers or scissors’, and should be carried out from the side or by circling the client avoiding the ‘high-risk zone’. Intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards/moustaches that involves prolonged periods near the ‘high-risk zone’ should not be carried out. Treatments on the body such as manicures, pedicures, leg or bikini waxing will be allowed to go ahead.

"These rules apply to all beauty practitioners in England, including those working in salon spaces as well as freelancers, mobile operators, and retail and session make-up artists.

The statement said: "Prior to this announcement, industry bodies have called out for a risk-based approach which would allow low-risk treatments which do not involve working in the ‘high-risk zone’ for a prolonged period of time to go ahead. 

"The latest decision from the Government is based on the scientific and medical advice that treatments or services provided in the ‘high risk zone’ directly in front of the client’s face are the most risky in terms of catching or spreading the virus, because splashes and droplets from the nose and mouth are present, even when they can’t be seen. The NHBF, along with Babtac and the British Beauty Council, is calling for this advice to be published to give businesses a better understanding of how and why these decisions have been made. 

"We expect the Government guidelines for close contact services to be updated shortly."

Babtac chair Lesley Blair added, "We are...acutely aware of the continued plight of so many businesses specialising in, or solely focused on, the excluded treatments and will continue to seek further solutions, including financial relief and additional scientific and medical evidence, to help all business to return as soon as viably possible.”

What are the restrictions for spas?

Additional detail came for spas today (July 9) in the form of an update to the Government guidance for "Providers of grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities". Facilities will be allowed to reopen as follows

From July 11:

From July 25:

However, the new guidance states that "saunas and steam rooms should stay out of use for the time being as the risk of transmission is unclear."

The guidance suggests that massage treatments will be permitted in both salons and spas, listing them in the "steps that will usually be needed" section, with the wording, "Operating beauty, massage and physio services in accordance with relevant salon guidance."

When are beauty salons opening in the rest of the UK? 

Beauty salons in Scotland have been given a reopening date of July 22.

Beauty salons in Wales are expected to reopen from July 27.

Meanwhile, beauty and hair salons have already opened in Northern Ireland.  

For all updates on Coronavirus and planning for reopening your salon, spa or freelance business, see our Professional Beauty Coronanvirus Resource Guide.