What the new Covid rules mean for nail salons

Here's everything you need to know

When will nail salons reopen in England, and can mobile nail technicians still work in lockdown?
When will nail bars reopen? Credit: getty

Boris Johnson has announced a third national lockdown which will see nail bars remain closed until mid-February at the least. On Monday evening, the Prime Minister instructed that Britons may only leave their homes to shop for essentials, to go to work if absolutely necessary, to exercise, to seek medical assistance, to get a Covid test, or to escape domestic abuse.

In a televised address, Mr Johnson said: "It's clear that we need to do more together to bring this new variant under control. In England we must therefore go into a national lockdown which is tough enough to combat this variant. That means the Government is once again instructing you to stay at home."

The new restrictions mean the temporary closure of non-essential retail and personal care facilities, including hair and beauty salons, will begin immediately and effectively replaces the government's former Covid winter plan which previously upheld a system of  local tier restrictions.

The impact of closure

For business owners running nail salons, the impact of forced closure has been severe. Co-founder of hair and nail studio DryBy London, Krisztina van der Boom, says: "It’s a huge financial loss for the business, as we had no revenue at all during the first lockdown."

"As a physical retail space and service business our only revenue comes from customer appointments in store, so the survival of the business as a whole and the livelihood of our employees are at stake."

"Like other businesses, we have really followed all the rules and guidelines by keeping our premises Covid-secure, but despite our efforts, all the money spent and the battles we have faced, we're still being told it's not enough," adds CEO of blow dry and nail bar Duck and Dry, Yulia Rorstrom.

Since reopening after the first lockdown, Duck and Dry has implemented countless measures in all five of its London branches to ensure the safety of customers and staff. Measures saw the salons space nail stations apart to allow social distancing, cut in-store capacity, stock sites with PPE for staff, implement regular disinfecting of stations before and after clients, while track and tracing and keeping a log of customer details became a norm.

What about mobile nail services?

Along with nail salons, mobile technicians must halt business in England.  

What happens if I had an appointment booked during lockdown?

Any services booked during lockdown must be cancelled and rescheduled for a time after the lifting of restrictions.

What financial support will nail salons get?

For the second lockdown, staff at nail salons like Duck and Dry took part in the furlough scheme which was extended throughout November and saw employees receiving 80 percent of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

Businesses forced to close in England also received grants worth up to £3,000 per month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant, but speaking to us ahead of the second lockdown, Yulia pointed out "the council hasn't yet announced how the grants can be applied to or when those cash injections will be coming through. Given the rent costs in central London, that £3,000 per month grant might just cover the basic fixed costs, but it will not cover the rent". 

Rather than having access to more financial support from the government, Yulia claimed to prefer the chance to continue trading under restrictions, "we want to see a viable, long-term solution to this virus which is clearly not going away, placing a blanket restriction on the entire working and consumer population does not seem reasonable and ultimately it is not sustainable for businesses."