13 October 2020

This update covers: 

  • The new three tier system for England.
  • Effect on the hair & beauty industry.
  • What’s happening in the other three nations.
  • Financial support for businesses.
  • What is the NHBF doing? 

A new three tier system for England was announced by the Prime Minister on 12 October 2020. The system will be debated in the House of Commons today (13 October) and will come into force on Wednesday this week if approved by Parliament. The system will be reviewed after one month. The three tiers are: 

  • Medium
  • High
  • Very high 


This currently includes most of the country and consists of current national measures including the rule of six and 10pm pub closing: 

  • All businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a COVID-secure way, other than those that must remain closed, such as nightclubs.
  • Certain businesses selling food or drink are required to close between 10pm and 5am.
  • Businesses and venues selling takeaway food can continue to do so after 10pm as long as this is via a delivery service, click-and-collect or drive-through.
  • Schools, universities and places of worship remain open.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on the number of guests.
  • Organised indoor sport and exercise classes can continue to take place if the rule of six is followed.
  • People must not meet in groups of more than six, indoors or outdoors. 


Most areas already subject to local restrictions will automatically move into the high alert level with the following additional measures: 

  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • People must not meet in a group of more than six outside, including in a garden or other space.
  • People should aim to reduce the number of journeys they make where possible. If they need to travel, they should walk or cycle where possible, or plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport. 

Very high 

Additional and stricter rules apply:

  • Pubs and bars can only stay open if they operate as a restaurant. This means serving substantial meals such as a main lunchtime or evening meal. They can serve alcohol only as part of the meal.
  • Wedding receptions are not allowed.
  • People must not meet with anybody outside their household or support bubble in any indoor or outdoor setting, whether at home or in a public space. The rule of six applies in open public spaces such as parks and beaches.
  • People should try to avoid travelling to or from the area other than for work, education, accessing youth services, meeting caring responsibilities or if they are in transit.
  • People should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK if they live in a ‘very high’ area.
  • People should avoid overnight stays in ‘very high’ areas if they live elsewhere. 

The Liverpool City Region will be in the very high category from Wednesday, 14 October 2020. As well as pubs and bars, gyms, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will close. 

Details about the announcement can be found on the government website. Go to the postcode checker to find out which tier you are in. 

Effect on the hair & beauty industry 

In ‘very high’ areas further restrictions can be applied in consultation with local leaders. This means it is possible that salons and barbershops may be told to close, although this hasn’t happened yet. 

Mobile businesses 

Currently, mobile hair and beauty businesses can still operate across all three tiers as long as COVID-secure guidelines are followed. 

It is possible that mobile businesses may be told to stop operating in ‘very high’ areas, but this hasn’t happened yet. 

Find out what’s happening in the other three nations: 

Financial support for businesses that have to close 

The government has announced further support for businesses that are required to close due to local restrictions. This includes:

  • A UK-wide expansion of the Job Support Scheme: the government will pay two-thirds of employees’ wages to protect jobs.
  • Cash grants of up to £3,000 a month in England. Additional funding will be given to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to offer similar measures if they wish. Scotland has now announced further support including cash grants of up to £3,000 for businesses forced to close and hardship grants of up to £1,500 to support businesses that stay open but are adversely affected by the pandemic. 

Find out more on the government website. 

What is the NHBF doing? 

The NHBF has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma, the Cabinet, and Neil Johnson, director of the safer workplaces team at BEIS (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) to push for the hair and beauty industry to remain open in the coming weeks and months. We have also written to politicians who represent ‘high alert’ areas to push for our industry to remain open. 

Campaign success 

The NHBF has also been asking the government for more money to help ensure all businesses follow the coronavirus guidelines to keep staff and clients safe. The government has now announced extra funding of £60m to enable police forces and local councils in England and Wales to increase their enforcement of coronavirus rules. Find out more

The Northern Ireland Executive is appealing for urgent action from the public to ensure everyone complies with coronavirus rules, including clients in salons and barbershops. It is planning to increase the level of fines for those who don’t comply. Face coverings will also have to be worn in more places including taxis, public transport and retail and hospitality settings. 

See all updates