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When will nail salons re-open in the UK?

Hairdressers are reopening on July 4, but what about our high street nail salons?

When will nail salons re-open in the UK?
Credit: Getty Images 

In a briefing yesterday, Boris Johnson confirmed that while hairdressers are officially allowed to open from July 4, nail bars along with spas and beauty salons will remain closed. Mr Johnson said: “We also intend to allow some other close contact services, such as nail bars, to reopen as soon as we can; when we're confident they can operate in a secure way.”

Businesses that require hands-on interaction with customers are at the highest risk of spreading Covid-19, so when it was announced on 23rd March that the UK would go into lockdown as a temporary measure, naturally nail salons were among the first to announce closures. 

As nail salons are classed as 'retail', it was predicted that they would open at some point in June. With this failing to materialise, we have clung onto the government's provisional July 4 date for the reopening of  hairdressers and beauty salons, including nail bars. But even this provisional date began to seem unlikely after the government's announcement last Sunday that "we still do not have a confirmed date for when close contact services including hair and beauty will be able to reopen." 

In Italy, after a 55-day lockdown period, shops, hair and beauty salons were allowed to open on May 18th. Similarly in Germany, following the reopening of DIY stores and garden centres, hair salons were opened on May 4th, and nail bars were next in line

After getting the green light from their government, strict rules have been put in place for reopened salons for the foreseeable future: hair stylists must wear protective gear, and customers must be seated far enough apart to adhere to social distancing guidelines. For nail salons - which have to adhere to the same strict rules - it could prove tricky. 

Where previously rows of manicure stations were placed within 2 metres of each other, once open, a look at layouts may be required to ensure social distancing can be maintained, particularly as they’ll have permanent hand-wash fittings in place that can’t be moved. Proper PPE will likely be required for every treatment to keep customers and staff protected, and a salon is likely to reduce the number of clients to avoid crowding.

2020欧洲杯体育投注开户A less extensive treatment menu could be one way to ensure a speedier service: gel manicures or nail extensions are a lengthy process that require one customer sitting in a chair for often over an hour. They’re also notoriously tricky to remove without specialist tools and products, so may require a trip back to said salon for removal, doubling the amount of time (plus the journey) spent there. 

All of this puts a different demand on the salon itself altogether. Would longer hours be put in place to cater for everyone? Or shorter hours to ensure less people visited in one day? 

‘We haven’t received any government guidelines regarding what to do when we reopen yet,’ said Fatima Naveed, brand manager at Duck & Dry, stylish blow-dry and nail bar with locations in London’s Oxford Circus and Mayfair. ‘We do have to have a balance between limiting the number of customers, services performed or opening hours with the businesses being able to survive.

'All businesses with high fixed costs, rents, high staffing rates, and we’ll be looking for extra staff to disinfect surfaces and equipment, too. We’ll continue our strict hygiene measures including face masks and gloves, and will disinfect the space after every client visit. We plan to limit clients to one at a time, only offering pre-booked appointments so we can control the footfall in the salon.’  

While we haven’t had a definitive answer on when nail salons will be allowed to reopen, there’s no denying we’d all feel a little more normal if we were able to have our go-to manicure so there’s no doubt salon appointments will be booked up as soon as lockdown measures are softened.

‘Our clients are looking forward to coming back to the salon again,’ Juanita Huber-Millet, founder of Townhouse nail bar, told The Telegraph. ‘We have plans to take advantage of our spacious location to implement social distancing. We want them to enjoy their manicures with no compromise on safety.’