Therapists and ‘backstreet beauticians’ who have been working illegally during the lockdown have been warned that they will be reported and could face large fines, the National Hair & Beauty Federation said today.
As well as beauty therapists working in breach of lockdown rules, barbers and hairdressers have also been accepting bookings for home visits from clients. Among the services that have been reported are the application of high maintenance treatments like eyelash extensions and acrylic nails - both of which are considered extremely close contact and require face-to-face interaction for over an hour per treatment.
Bookings are said to be made through either social media, or a direct contact between mobile therapists and their existing clients. Some hairdressers and therapists have claimed to be offered two or three times their regular service fee for breaching lockdown for clients.
“We’re really disappointed this is happening,” says Hilary Hall, chief executive of the National Hair & Beauty Federation. “We’ve had a lot of concern from our members who are reporting other colleagues in the industry for breaking the lockdown restrictions.” Hall has been advising any members or the general public who suspect those operating within the ‘black market’ report them to the Health and Safety Executive, who are the enforcing authority.
As well as breaking lockdown rules, Hall is also concerned for the safety of the mobile beauticians and hairdressers. When salons eventually open (which is looking to be July 4 at the earliest), Hall thinks it’s much easier to control hygiene and strict levels of safety, which you can’t replicate going in and out of individual home settings.
“Members of the public are also concerned,” adds Hall. “There’s little point to all the lockdown restrictions if there’s a group of people - stylists, therapists but also clients - who are willing to break the restrictions. It undermines what everybody is doing.
“The people breaking the lockdown restrictions then run the risks of the restrictions being extended for everyone, and it undermines the professionalism of those sticking to the rules.”
In new ‘fit for work’ guidelines issued by the National Hair & Beauty Federation today, it is strongly recommending that even when salons are able to re-open, members ‘should not offer hairdressing, barbering or beauty treatments to clients at their home.’ Those who do will be uninsured by their salon, will likely be ‘breaking social distancing rules’ and ‘working in an environment where you have no control over safety or hygiene’.