Covid-19: beauty and hair salons in Northern Ireland to close on October 16 for four weeks

As part of new Covid-19 lockdown measures, beauty salons, hair salons, barbers and mobile beauty businesses in Northern Ireland will close from Friday, October 16, for a four-week period to curb the spread of the virus. 

Northern Ireland first minister Arlene Foster announced the closure of close contact services from October 16, unless there is a medical need for these services, along with other measures including schools having to close from Monday, October 19, and hospitality businesses being limited to takeaway and delivery services only from Friday, October 16. 

“We are facing the tough reality of rapidly rising rates of infection. There are increasing numbers of people requiring acute care in our hospitals and sadly we learned yesterday of the death of seven people from Covid-19,” said Foster.

“The Executive has given careful and painstaking consideration of the right blend of actions that will do maximum damage to the virus but minimum harm to life chances today and tomorrow.

“We understand that these interventions will be hard but they will not be in place for a moment longer than they need to be. I would ask everyone to work with us to save lives and protect our health service.”

Read the full list of restrictions in Northern Ireland

 

Industry reactions:

The National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) are pressing the Northern Ireland Government for urgent clarification on what financial support will be available to the beauty and hair sectors and how this will be made available to those who need it most. 

“It is hugely disappointing that this announcement has been made without any mention of specific financial support. We urgently need assurances from the Northern Ireland Executive that, as a minimum, they will be providing cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns similar to that of the rest of the UK (England is up to £3,000 per month for each business forced to close)," said NHBF chief executive Richard Lambert. 

“The hair and beauty industry is already under immense strain and many salon and barbershop owners are worried about the survival of their businesses, and the jobs of their employees. People could potentially be closing on Thursday evening without knowing if they will have a business to return to.”

In a recent NHBF poll, 96% of salons and barbershops in Northern Ireland said they had not been contacted via Test, Trace and Protect (4,107), with only 186 (4%) responding “Yes”.

Is your salon based in Northern Ireland? Tell us how you’re feeling below. 

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined a new three-tier alert system for Covid-19 lockdowns in England. Find out how this will affect your salon, spa or mobile beauty business.