What will salons and spas need to do to stay safe on reopening?

It’s still uncertain when UK salons and spas will reopen and how these businesses will operate post-lockdown. However, as other countries across the world begin to re-open their businesses, we look at the measures that are being taken elsewhere, as well as advice from the experts on setting up for re-opening. 

How are other countries re-opening beauty salons?

With salons re-opening in Dubai as of April 26, a list of requirements has been put into place in order to ensure safety for both business owners and clients. Regular inspections are being  made by Dubai Municipality to check Salon are operating safely, and salons can be asked to close if they are not abiding by the below guidelines:


Dubai is one of the latest to allow non-essential businesses to reopen, including Germany, Norway, Switzerland and Georgia, which have allowed beauty salons and hairdressers to re-open their doors. However, precautions are in place across the different countries, including adhering to the two-metre rule, wearing masks and asking to clients to avoid arriving early for their appointments, in order to avoid crowding in reception. 


How might UK beauty salons operate post-coronavirus?

Once salons get the go-ahead to re-open their doors, it’ll be easier said than done, says Hellen Ward, managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa.

“It’s not as simple as just turning up to work and everything going back to normal. The biggest concern for us is if we have restrictions on social distancing on such a large site, with over 100 staff, then we’ll have to change the times we work, create shifts. Maybe open 8-8, some people working from 8-4, phasing it in that way.”

However, the concern for many is that while their businesses won’t be running as normal, overheads will still need to be paid. “I’ll be still paying my overheads , service charges, rent. These will all be full pelt, but the business won’t be,” says Ward. “The issue will then be: if closure is no longer enforced, will we have the choice to keep some people furloughed while we gradually phase back in? Will we ever be full pelt like we were before?”

There are also concerns about the day-today running of a salon and how this will operate once they are open. “The phones are going to go crazy,” says Ward. “How many receptionists can we have at any one time? How much distance do we have between them? There’s a hell of a lot to think about. Even just the basic stuff, like turning off our air con and water tanks. They need a week to get up and running. We won’t just be able to go live just like that. Even on a smaller scale, it’ll still be difficult,” she says.


How might UK spas operate post-coronavirus?

ISPA has announced advice for spas upon reopening. It includes a checklist for reopening your business, as well as customisable templates to inform clients of the reopening, as well as recommendations to communicate new sanitisation procedures and arrival guidelines for clients. 

During our Virtual Spa WeekAndrew Gibson, senior vice president of Sensei, spoke about how spas will operate differently post-coronavirus.

“Social distancing is not normal human behaviour, and we will see people wanting to socially engage. There will be a new normal. What that is, I don’t know, but there will be all kinds of concern about safety and hygiene that will affect how we operate,” he says.

“It’s likely that wellness travel will be primarily domestic. It’ll be places you can travel to easily and safely in your car. Over time, international travel will return and international customers will come back,” he adds. “This is a golden opportunity for anyone in wellness to think what their message is going to be to their customers of the future, because wellness is something that people are going to seek.”

Strategies for reopening will also be the key focus of our upcoming online conference: Professional Beauty presents World Spa & Wellness. This will run from May 12–14 and feature industry leaders from across the globe. It will be livestreamed to the social channels of our UK, Ireland, Dubai, India and South Africa publications for maximum engagement and discusson. 


For the latest advice and insight, check out our Coronavirus Support Guide to help guide your business through the pandemic.