Dermalogica Pens an Open Letter Urging the Government to Reconsider the Lockdown Rules For Salons
Photo taken in Boston, Massachusetts, USA
The beauty industry is worth an estimated £30 billion, employing approximately 600,000 people in the UK. Yet the industry was largely overlooked in Boris Johnson's speech on Tuesday announcing updates regarding the loosening of lockdown restrictions following the coronavirus outbreak. Members of the beauty industry have felt let down and puzzled as to why members of the public are able to visit the pub, a relatively unhygienic place, in comparison to a beauty salon, which has always held strict hygiene regulations.
In the announcement, hairdressers were given the go ahead to reopen as of 4 July (provided they have the correct PPE and COVID safety guidelines in place). However, Johnson states that "close contact services", which includes nail bars, beauty salons, and tattoo parlours are not allowed to reopen and will be notified when the government is confident they can operate in a "COVID-secure way"; although, no timeframe was given. The announcement came as a shock to both employers and employees in the industry, which was initially part of the "personal care" category in the government's Plan to Rebuild. The blow is compounded by the fact that many of them have already invested heavily on putting extensive safety measures in place, with the assumption that salons would be reopening along with hair salons.
In response to the prime minster's announcement, Dermalogica's UK general manager, Mark Hermann, penned an open letter to the government urging them to reconsider their decision on excluding the beauty industry in those businesses allowed to reopen in July.
The letter opened: "We are writing to you on behalf of the 5500 skin care centres we work with, and as representative of the Beauty Industry to implore you to provide clarity on the differentiation being made between those close contact service businesses that can open on the 4th July 2020 and those that are not permitted to." Hermann continued explaining the general confusion as to why a "highly sanitised environment [such as a beauty salon] is more risky than being in a pub or restaurant with minimal distancing or mitigating measures." He added, "A survey of our business account partners suggests we will see 6 percent close post the Covid-19 pandemic, with many more teetering on the edge of survival. This industry in conjunction with hair is worth £6.6 billion to the UK economy each year and its collapse will be devastating, not least for those whose livelihoods depend on these close contact services."
The letter closed by saying, "Whilst we strongly oppose the notion that our industry is not equipped to provide safe service from the 4th July 2020, we urge government to confirm a date for opening."
This is another example of the beauty industry being trivialised and largely disregarded, when it's a hugely valuable industry — and an extremely safe and sanitary one — to the UK economy. Another fear is that if the government won't allow beauty salons to safely reopen soon (or at least give a timeline), some beauty industry workers might be driven to carry out at-home services under the radar, simply to pay their bills.
Ahead, read Dermalogica's open letter in full and some of the Twitter responses from those working in the beauty industry following the government's decision.