With so many others closing, why not hairdressers? Because they haven’t been told to

I was talking to an acquaintance the other day – a person of senior years who fits into several of the coronavirus “at risk” categories.

“Oh yes,” she assured me. “I’m self-isolating.”


“I was only telling my hairdresser about it at the salon today.”


I mean, what?

Yeah. She was absolutely staying away from contact with any other people who could possibly pass on Covid-19 to her – apart from any other people who happened to be at the hairdresser’s at the same time as her. And she didn’t think there was anything wrong with that.

And here’s the thing:

Even the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) – that represents hairdressing salons – knows that people who attend such establishments are putting themselves at risk.

Why haven’t they closed?

Well, some have done so voluntarily.

But most have not – because the government hasn’t told them to do it.

See, without an order from Boris Johnson’s administration, hairdressers can’t get access to the financial help that has been put in place for businesses.

That’s why the NHBF has asked for salons to be put on the list of businesses that must close.

Don’t take my word for it. See for yourself:

The Government issued instructions on Friday 20 March about which businesses must close but made no mention of hair salons, barbershops or beauty salons. The NHBF has urgently contacted a number of key government officials and departments (see details below) to ask for all salons and barbershops to be immediately added to the list of businesses that must close.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly and we fully understand how worried everyone in our industry is at the moment. Our priority is to protect our industry, colleagues, business owners, employees and clients from the further spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Some salons and barbershops have already taken the decision to close, and we believe that this is the right decision. Stylists, therapists and barbers are inevitably in close contact with a wide range of clients which means they cannot follow the government’s social distancing guidelines.

My own experience with my acquaintance tells me that the NHBF is right.

It’s vital that the government puts hairdressing salons on the ‘closed’ list – otherwise people like her will blithely put themselves in danger without a second’s thought.

Source: Coronavirus: NHBF update 22 March 2020 – National Hair & Beauty Federation

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  1. trev March 22, 2020 at 11:58 pm - Reply

    There’s a lot of anomalies not being addressed by this shambolic Government. Hairdressers (or Barbers) are not facilities I need to use personally but Libraries and Jobcentres are, and I’ve only just seen a Twitter announcement (of all things) that all public libraries in my part of West Yorkshire are now closed as of yesterday. I have not been told by Boris Johnson or the DWP whether I am still required to continue attending signing appointments at the Jobcentre or if I am still required to do the obligatory jobsearch, or how I might do that now the library is closed, and I have not been informed whether Sanctions relating to jobsearch have been lifted. JSA claimants are being kept in the dark and told nothing. All official statements relating to Benefits have been about Universal Credit, apart from to say that people won’t be sanctioned for not attending appointments if unwell and self-isolating so long as they inform the Jobcentre “in good time”, whatever that means. It’s a joke.

  2. Grey Swans March 23, 2020 at 12:05 am - Reply

    The public do not understand how an airborne virus is like all the plagues of history that wiped so many out. You cannot avoid, obviously, breathing.

    The bumbling idiot Tory Boris keeps looks up for divine inspiration (that never comes) or to people either side of him, when answering questions at the daily briefings, that just cause even more confusion.

    Until there is a working vaccine (not due til summer 2021, if then) then the most at risk, who are younger than 70, cannot go out and about.

  3. trev March 23, 2020 at 12:10 am - Reply


    Whilst my Doctors surgery has emergency measures in place and no one is to enter without a Doctors appointment, and prescriptions are to be picked up from the Pharmacy, the Dentists across the road is operating as normal and I actually have a check-up appointment on Tuesday (though I may cancel it), they told me on the phone that they are open as normal and haven’t been told otherwise.

  4. kateuk March 23, 2020 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    All the hairdressers, beauty salons and nail bars in our area seem to be closed. I was surprised to see a couple of vape shops open (one was closed). The pet shop wasn’t sure if it would be allowed to stay open or not (People need pet food!) The vets told me I could pick up medication for my dog but appointments are now emergencies only. Too much confusion.

  5. juliette gazzard March 23, 2020 at 6:12 pm - Reply

    I for the life of me cannot understand how some businesses are deemed safe while others are expected to close. Many sole traders need a directive with clear measures to compensate put in place before they have the financial security to shut their doors. Even the most socially conscious trader is going to find it hard to live off fresh air.

    Add to that the fact that it’s perfectly fine for aunty Mary to sit with absolutely no protection and serve 100s of customers in tesco and confusion reigns. I’m all for taking as much care with the measures required as possible, but clarity on the thinking would go a very long way.

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