25 June 2020

This update covers:

  • The latest information we have about when salons and barbershops can reopen across the four nations.
  • The NHBF’s current lobbying activities on behalf of our industry. 


The main points are: 

  • Hairdressers and barbers in England can open on 4 July 2020 with appropriate safety measures. They can provide services that relate to ‘cutting or treating hair on the head’. Shaving of the face is not allowed. The ruling applies to salons and mobile and freelance hairdressers and barbers.
  • Beauty businesses (including but not limited to nail bars, eyelash and brow bars, makeup artists, tattoo and tanning studios, spas, sports and massage therapy, well-being and holistic locations) will not be able to open until the government announces it is safe to do so (no official date has been given).
  • Combined hair and beauty businesses can reopen for hair appointments only.
  • A ‘one metre plus’ social distancing rule will be introduced in England from 4 July 2020 but people should stay two metres apart where possible.
  • The government has published guidelines for safe reopening of salons and barbershops. The NHBF is currently working on further detailed guidance to cover a number of key issues including hairdryer use, wet cuts and overlapping appointments. 

What is the NHBF doing? 

We are currently trying to find out if the government’s guidelines will apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and will let you know when we have more information. The other nations may develop their own guidelines. 

The NHBF is extremely disappointed that beauty businesses are not yet allowed to reopen, and have always emphasised that hair and beauty should reopen at the same time. 

We fully appreciate the difficult financial situation businesses within the beauty sector are currently in and will continue to put pressure on the government to allow beauty businesses to reopen as soon as possible, and for financial support to be extended. We are campaigning with other trade organisations and talking with government officials to bring this important issue to the attention of Chancellor Rishi Sunak. 

We are currently lobbying government at the highest levels on behalf of our industry and will be writing to:


Hairdressers and barbers will be allowed to reopen with ‘enhanced hygiene measures’ on 15 July 2020. This is conditional on infection rates remaining at a low enough level. 

However, the reopening of ‘other personal retail services’ in Scotland is still subject to further public health advice. We understand that ‘other personal retail services’ include beauty businesses. A possible opening date will be reviewed on 9 July 2020, but this is unlikely to be before 23 July 2020. 


Wales will make an announcement on 9 July 2020 about the possibility of reopening on 13 July 2020. We do not yet know if beauty businesses will open later than hairdressers and barbers. 

Northern Ireland 

Salons and barbershops in Northern Ireland will be allowed to reopen on 6 July 2020. The businesses listed as being allowed to reopen include nail, beauty, hair and tanning services, electrolysis and acupuncture. However, the opening date is still ‘conditional on the virus being contained’. 

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