Beauty salons in Ireland to reopen on July 20 – will the UK follow suit?
Beauty salons, hairdressers and barbers in Ireland are expected to reopen their doors on July 20, as phase four of the Irish Government’s new coronavirus plan – and many are wondering if the UK will adopt a similar phased approach.
Irish Prime Minister Taiseach Leo Varadkar announced the roadmap for unlocking restrictions on Friday (May 1). It is broken up into five phases, starting on May 18, with a three-week break between each phase.
Beauty salons, hairdressers and barbers are expected to reopen in phase four, which starts on July 20, because it’s a “higher risk service involving direct physical contact for periods of time between people”.
The roadmap plan statement added: “There is a higher risk associated with the spread of the infection associated with person to person contact, e.g. hairdressers, beauticians, etc.”
Throughout the plan, the rate of the Covid-19 virus in the community will be monitored and if it gets out of control at any time, the below could be amended.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to announce the UK’s roadmap for unlocking restrictions later on this week as many ask the question: when will beauty salons be allowed to reopen during Covid-19?
What is Ireland’s five-phase plan for reopening during coronavirus?
Phase one – starts on May 18
– Allowing outdoor meetings between people from different households
– Opening up childcare for healthcare workers
– A phased return of outdoor workers
– Opening retailers which are primarily outdoor or those which were open during the first level of restriction (eg opticians)
– Opening certain outdoor public amenities.
Phase two – starts on June 8
– Allowing visits to households
– Developing plans and supports to open up business with consideration for safety of staff and customers
– Opening small retail outlets and centres where social distancing can be observed
– Opening public libraries.
Phase three – starts on June 29
– Allowing small social gatherings
– Opening creches, childminders and pre-schools for children of essential workers in phased manner
– Returning to work for those with low levels of interaction
– Opening non-essential retail outlets with street level entrance and exit
– Opening playgrounds.
Phase four – starts on July 20
– Opening creches, childminders and pre-schools for children of all other workers on a gradually increasing basis
– Returning to work for those who cannot work from home
– The gradual easing of restrictions for higher risk services (e.g. beauty salons, barbers and hairdressers)
– Opening museums, galleries, places of worship
Phase five– starts on August 10
– Allowing larger social gatherings
– Returning to work across all sectors
– On a phased basis, commencing at the beginning of the academic year 2020/2021, opening of primary and secondary schools and 3rd level institutions
– Further easing of restrictions on high risk retail services.
Following the publishing of the five-phase road map, the Irish Government announced a suite of supports for businesses struggling in the Covid-19 crisis. The measures include a €2 billion pandemic stabilisation and recovery fund; €2bn Covid-19 Credit Guarantee Scheme to support lending to SMEs for terms ranging from three months to six years; €10,000 restart grant for micro and small businesses; three-month commercial rates waiver for impacted businesses; the "warehousing" of tax liabilities for 12 months after recommencement of trading; and a commitment to local authorities to make up the rates shortfall.
Beauty and hair industry reactions
With some clarity on a date for reopening, industry bodies are now moving to guide their members through the preparation stage. The Hairdressing Council is publishing a best practice guidance for its members on the specifics of how it should re-enter a changed work environment.
The Irish Spa Association has created a business continuity and reactivation plan and is publishing a blueprint to ensure its members have the guidelines to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.
HABIC has already issued some guidelines to its members on what to consider as they prepare to reopen and it has stressed that the industry will not be going back to how it used to do things – it will require new standard operating procedures, staff training and co-operation, financial decisions around these new procedures, and clients will have new needs.