Since salons and barbershops have been allowed to reopen, there have been a number of local lockdowns across the country. Find out what a local lockdown is and what it may mean for your salon or barbershop. 

Please note: rules vary across the country when lockdowns are imposed. If you have specific questions about your particular area, please contact your local authority. You can find your local authority on the government website. You can also email the Department of Health and Social Care with any queries about local lockdowns:

Find out what financial support is available across the four nations.

This blog post covers: 

What is a local lockdown? 

A local lockdown applies to a specific area where measures are imposed to control a local spike in coronavirus infections. A number of different measures can be imposed, including one or all of the following:

  • Certain shops and venues are closed.
  • Public events are cancelled.
  • People are asked not to travel into the area.
  • Residents are asked not to travel outside the area or to city centres.
  • Visiting between households is restricted.
  • The number of people who can gather together indoors or outdoors is restricted.
  • Hospital and care home visits are restricted. 

Clean basin

Local lockdowns: England 


All personal care businesses in England must close from Thursday, 5 November 2020 until Wednesday, 2 December. You can reopen your business on Wednesday, 2 December 2020. This includes hair salons, barbershops, beauty salons, spas, massage parlours, non-medical acupuncture and tanning salons.  

On Wednesday, 2 December 2020, England will return to the three-tier system. 

Salons, barbershops, nail salons, spas, massage parlours, tanning salons and mobile businesses can remain open in all three tiers.


On 18 July, the government gave new powers to local authorities in England enabling them to close individual premises and public places and to restrict events. Previously, they had to apply for a court order. Local authorities must review their decisions every seven days. These powers are in place until 17 January 2021. 

The health secretary can close and restrict access to individual premises under the Coronavirus Act 2020. 

The government can put in place a local lockdown in England under the Public Health Act 1984. 

Find out which areas in England have additional local restrictions.

Covid haircut

Local lockdowns: Wales 

The Welsh firebreak which required the closure of salons and barbershops as well as mobile hairdressers and therapists ended on Monday, 9 November 2020. Close contact services can now reopen but must take all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus. Find out more about the new rules for Wales on the Welsh Government website

The Welsh Government is advising hair and beauty businesses to check back often for the latest guidance on providing close contact services as this will be kept under review. You can also read the government’s Q&As on close contact services.

Local lockdowns: Scotland 


Salon and barbershop businesses, including mobile close contact businesses, will have to close in some parts of Scotland from 6pm, Friday (20 November 2020) for three weeks. Businesses can reopen on Friday, 11 December 2020.  

The areas being moved to level 4 are: 

East Ayrshire
East Dunbartonshire
East Renfrewshire
North Lanarkshire
South Ayrshire
South Lanarkshire
West Dunbartonshire
West Lothian  

Find out which level your area is in on the Scottish Government website

Find out what financial help is available for businesses in Scotland.

A new five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions came into force in Scotland from 2 November 2020. The levels are zero to four. ‘Level 0’ is close to normality. Levels 1, 2 and 3 would require further restrictions and level 4 would be close to a full lockdown. Find out more on the Scottish Government website
Enter your postcode on the Scottish Government website to find out what you can and can't do.


Local lockdowns in Northern Ireland 

A two-week 'circuit breaker' will begin just after midnight on Friday, 27 November 2020 to slow the spread of coronavirus in the community and protect the health service. This means that the last day close contact businesses such as hair and beauty can operate in Northern Ireland is Thursday, 26 November 2020. This includes: 

  • Those who provide mobile close contact services from their homes and in other people’s homes, and those in retail environments
  • Hair and beauty in vocational training environments. 

Close contact services relating to the continuation of essential health interventions and therapeutics can still operate.  

The new restrictions will cover two weeks from 27 November until 11 December 2020.

Find out more on the Northern Ireland Executive website.

Clean work surfaces

NHBF #DoItRight campaign

It’s vital for salons and barbershops to guard against new lockdowns being imposed.  

Salons and barbershops must continue to follow the relevant guidelines to help reassure and protect both staff and clients. This means using the correct PPE and carrying out regular cleaning and sanitising, especially between clients. Find out more. 

Says NHBF chief executive Hilary Hall: “By keeping to the rules, you will reduce the risk of local lockdowns and further closures. In addition, bear in mind that if you don’t keep to the guidelines, you may be breaching health & safety law which can lead to fines or even prison.”

#DoItRight campaign

In response to government warnings that it may close the hair and beauty sector again if safety guidelines are ignored, the NHBF has launched a #DoItRight campaign to encourage everyone in the industry to stick to the rules. 

Prevent a no-show in the salon

If your salon or barbershop is told to close 

You may be instructed to close your salon or barbershop again if a local lockdown is imposed.

Find out what financial support is available across the four nations for your business, your employees and self-employed chair/space/room renters.

Inform your staff 

Let your staff know as soon as possible how the local lockdown will affect your salon or barbershop. For example, will you have to close again? Will you have to stop offering certain services and treatments? 

Make sure you and your staff are clear about what’s happening and what needs to be done. 

Can I tell my employees to take paid annual leave?  

You can tell your employees when to take annual leave, but you must give them twice as much notice as the amount of leave you want them to take. NHBF Members can call our membership team on 01234 831965 or our free 24/7 legal helpline to make sure your calculations are correct.  

PPE Manicure

Can I lay off staff or reduce hours? 

Always take legal advice if you need to lay off staff or reduce their working hours. 

Employees who are laid off or asked to work reduced hours will be entitled to full pay unless their employment contract says they don’t have to be paid or can be paid less for hours that aren’t worked. 

There is no limit on the length of time your employees can be laid off or asked to work fewer hours. However, employees can apply for redundancy and redundancy pay if they have been laid off for four weeks in a row or six weeks in a 13-week period.

You must get your employee’s agreement if you want to change the number of hours they work on a permanent basis. 

Inform your clients 

If you need to cancel appointments, let your clients know as soon as possible. 

Explain that you will be in contact again as soon as you can re-book. 

Clean taps

Close down safely 

The Metropolitan Police have issued some guidelines including the following:

  • Test your alarm, ensure it is monitored and fully operational
  • Identify any vulnerable areas. Rectify these. Ensure security gates, bollards and fire
    exit doors have been secured prior to closure of the premises.
  • Make sure you have a list of key holders who can be contacted in times of emergency.
    Ensure your contact details for staff are up to date.
  • Consider moving high value items into secured stockrooms and out of view.
  • Ensure keys to the premises are not left inside and are instead with
    dedicated key holders.
  • Consider timer switches or ensure sufficient lighting is left on at the
    premises/surrounding area.
  • Ensure there are no combustible materials left near the building such as
    packaging - consider the risk of arson.
  • Review your CCTV to confirm it is working, provides good quality images and is
    positioned to cover as much of your premises as possible. You may wish to
    consider a mobile phone app that allows connectivity and a vocal capacity to engage
    with any intruder.
  • External shutters are recommended but some buildings may be subject to planning
    approval before installation
  • Laminated glass or security film can be applied to existing glass to make it more
    resistant to a physical assault. Shutters and grilles (subject to planning regulations may
    also be a consideration).
  • Fogging devices that activate as a result of an intruder activation may also be
    beneficial-you can’t steal what you can’t see.
  • Avoid legionella by regularly flushing through your taps and water outlets if this is possible while complying with the government's current lockdown rules. Find out more on the Legionella Control website.

Will my business insurance cover me for losses caused by the lockdown?  

Check with your insurance provider to see if you are covered.  However, very few businesses have the specific cover that would potentially enable them to claim for the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Read detailed information about this provided by the Association of British Insurers. 

Do my chair/space/room renters have to pay rent if we close again? 

Find detailed information about this here. 

Contactless payment

More information