NHBF sends urgent letter demanding guidelines to Alok Sharma

Open letter to Business Secretary stresses urgent need for government guidelines ahead of expected reopening on 4 July

The NHBF has sent an open letter to Alok Sharma ,MP Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, stressing the urgent need for the Government to publish formal guidance regarding close proximity services, which includes hair and beauty salons and barbershops.

With salons told that 4 July is the earliest expected reopening date, they are still without government guidelines with just two weeks to go.

In the letter, NHBF chief executive, Hilary Hall, stresses how businesses need time to prepare for reopening, at least two weeks. “We understand the latest advice is that these services will not re-open until 4 July at the earliest but businesses need adequate time – ideally two weeks – to redesign their premises, train staff, ensure they have suitable PPE, communicate with clients regarding operational changes, implement adequate hygiene standards, and come to terms with the changes necessary to ensure the safety of themselves and their clients. We therefore urge you to publish the guidance without any further delay,” she writes.

The NHBF has been one of the contributors to the draft guidelines on ‘Working Safely Guidance – Close Contact Services including Hair and Beauty’, attending a round table meeting and providing continued technical advice to BEIS officials. It shared a representative selection of salons, barbershops, beauty salons and freelancers to comment on the first draft of the guidelines, published late on Friday 5 June.  Hilary has written: “With a deadline of 5pm on Monday 8 June, many people from across the industry willingly gave up time to meet the government’s timetable and support these important developments understanding the urgent need to publish guidance.  Despite a real sense of progress, we have heard nothing since.”

She states that there is “growing frustration at the continued delay” in publishing the guidelines, preventing hair salons, beauty salons and barbershops from being able to fully prepare their businesses, staff and clients for reopening.

“Salons and barbershops have been unable to trade for months, so if they are to make a financial investment in PPE, they need to be confident that they are buying the right materials and they need sufficient time to source supplies,” Hilary adds in the letter.