[UPDATED]: Wales beauty salons and spas must shut from December 20

UPDATE: A lockdown in Wales will continue until at least January 29, when it will be reviewed again, it was announced on Friday, January 8.

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said the new variant was “adding a dangerous dimension to the pandemic”. 

Beauty salons and spas in Wales have been closed since December 20, as the new ‘alert level four’, or ‘very high risk’, restrictions were imposed, earlier than expected. 

In a statement on December 19, First Minister Mark Drakeford said, "Many of you will have heard the Prime Minister this afternoon setting out the pattern of transmission in London and the South East of England, which has been linked to this new variant of coronavirus.

"This is remarkably consistent with the rapid acceleration of transmission in Wales and the high rates of cases we have seen in recent weeks.

"We have therefore reached the difficult decision to bring forward the alert level four restrictions for Wales, in line with the action being taken in London and the South East of England.

"These new restrictions will come into effect from midnight tonight instead of during the Christmas period."

On Wednesday December 16, the First Minister had announced that, beginning on Monday December 28, Wales will enter this new alert level, which is currently the highest in the government’s traffic light system.

These new regulations mean that “close contact services”, including hairdressers and beauty salons, must shut. 

Christmas restrictions in Wales have also been tightened to mean two households may only meet up on Christmas Day rather than the extended period that had been planned. 

There is currently no date for when these restrictions will be lifted, meaning beauty salons and mobile therapists will remain unble to trade until ‘alert level four’ restrictions are lifted. The government will review the measures every three weeks, starting in January.

According to the Welsh Government Coronavirus Control Plan, Alert level four means a confirmed case rate of more than 300 cases per 100,000 people on a rolling seven-day average; confirmed case rates for over 60s suggesting rapid growth; and a projection of future case incidence rates over the following two weeks anticipating rises to more than 500 cases per 100,000 people.

Are salons in the rest of the UK open?

• Salons in Northern Ireland closed again from Boxing Day

• Salons and spas in England are closed, in a national lockdown that will last until at least mid February

• Beauty salons and spas in Scotland are also closed in a national lockdown

For help and support on everything concerning the Coronavirus lockdowns, keep an eye on our Coronavirus Resource Guide.