[Updated] Beauty salons and spas in Northern Ireland reopen on July 6

[Updated] On July 2, The Northern Ireland Executive confirmed that beauty salons and spas will be allowed to reopen on July 6, although spas cannot yet reopen thermal areas.

The Northern Ireland Executive's confirmation statement on July 2, said, "Following an update on the transmission rate of Coronavirus, which remains at a low level, the Executive confirmed the easements at its meeting today." It went on to list beauty salons and spas among those businesses permitted to reopen:

"Resumption of further close contact service, including massage, spas, tattooing and piercing from Monday, 6 July. (The relaxation pertaining to spas does not apply to thermal treatment aspects of spas, including saunas and steam rooms, hydrotherapy pools and cold and ice rooms.)"

Prior to this, a number of changes were announced on June 18 by the Northern Ireland Executive, the devolved Government of Northen Ireland, including the long-awaited confirmation that salons can reopen on Monday, July 6, providing the R rate stayed on its current trajectory.

The statement from the Government said that changes to its Coronavirus Regulations included: "The re-opening of hair salon and barbers – July 6. This also covers close contact businesses as set out in paragraph 14 of Part 2 of Schedule 2 of the Regulations and includes nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers, tanning services, electrolysis or acupuncture."

At the time, spas in Northern Ireland were not expected to be included in the measures, with the guidance stating "spas and leisure facilities at hotels will not be permitted to open at this stage."

The announcement also included an end to shielding from the end of July and reopening of schools from August 24. 

Northern Ireland's first minister Arlene Foster said: "While the package of relaxations agreed today is good news for families and the most vulnerable, it will also be welcomed by the business community...Earlier this week, we agreed indicative dates for the opening up of the hospitality and tourism sector and from early July, our hairdressers will open their doors to welcome back clients."

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann added: “While we can all be encouraged that we are moving, step-by-step through our recovery plan, we must remember that none of the relaxations agreed by the Executive to date are guaranteed. None of us want to have to re-impose any restriction in the future but we will if we have to"

When will beauty salons open in the rest of the UK?

Beauty and nail salons in England were not permitted to reopen on July 4 as expected, but it is anticipated that a new reopening date to work towards will be issued in the week commencing July 6.

Beauty and nail salons in Wales are still hopeful for a July 13 reopening date, with confirmation on whether or not this will go ahead expected at the next government address on July 9.

Beauty salons and spas in Scotland are still waiting for a proposed reopening date. On June 24, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that hairdressers and barbers can reopen from Wednesday, July 15, but that beauty services would not be permitted to resume on this date.

For our full guidance on navigating your salon, spa or freelance business through coronavirus and reopening, see our Professional Beauty Coronanvirus Resource Guide.