21 March 2020

Have hair/beauty salons and barbershops got to close?

The NHBF has asked the government for urgent clarification about this as the situation remains unclear. However, we will not have definite information until Monday at the earliest. See our latest information on this.

Unfortunately, this means that decisions about whether or not to close must still be made by salons and barbershops. We understand how difficult this is but in the absence of definite instructions from the government, this is where we currently stand. See below for information about the financial support announced by the chancellor yesterday.

Special note: if your business is located inside a leisure or sports facility, you will have to close (see list below of businesses that must close).

Please continue to take strict health and hygiene precautions if you are still open for business. Download a poster about the coronavirus to display in your salon or barbershop. This poster advises clients with symptoms to stay away.

Why is the situation unclear?

On 20 March, the government announced that the following businesses should now be closed:

  • Food and drink venues for consumption on-site, such as restaurants and cafes.
  • Drinking establishments, including pubs, bars, nightclubs.
  • Entertainment venues, including cinemas, theatres, concert halls, and bingo halls.
  • Museums and galleries.
  • Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours.*
  • Casinos and betting shops.
  • All indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms.

*‘Spas, wellness centres and massage parlours’ has not been defined and we do not know if this is meant to include salons and barbershops.

Employment and pay measures

The government has announced that it will cover up to 80% (to a maximum of £2,500 per person) of the salary of workers if employers keep them on the payroll, rather than laying them off. The payments will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and should be available within weeks. The scheme will be open for three months.

VAT payments

The next quarter of VAT payments is to be deferred to help businesses stay afloat. No business will pay VAT from now to mid-June. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year to pay their VAT bills in full.


The Coronavirus business interruption loan scheme will be available from Monday. The loans will be interest-free for 12 months.

Help for the self-employed

  • Self-employed people will be able to access Universal Credit at a rate equivalent to Statutory Sick Pay for employees. 
  • The next Self Assessment tax payments will be deferred until January 2021.


The benefits safety net is to be strengthened with, for example, increases in Housing Benefit, Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.

See all updates

More information and resources from the NHBF 

  • Members can call our membership team, Monday-Friday, 9-5, on 01234 831965
  • Please follow the links in this NHBF blog post for the latest official government and NHS advice.