England: Guidance and Support
See below for England's close contact guidance, tier system, and financial support options to help salons affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic...
England PPE Guidance Change from 17th May
In England from the 17th May the use of visors – although strongly advised by the government – will not be mandatory. This means that if you choose to no longer wear a visor, then you must be clear in your risk assessment that you can mitigate the risk to your staff and clients if you choose not to wear them anymore. Effectively, the government is placing the responsibility into the salon owner’s hands by asking them to do what is necessary for their salon to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. So, it is up to you to decide when the use of visors/goggles is no longer necessary.
You must still wear a Type II mask; however, you must update your risk assessment to reflect this change and you may decide to continue to wear a visor or goggles to help protect yourself, your staff, and your clients.
As a salon owner, you can still require your team to wear visors, as they must obey the health & safety rules you set out for them.
Job Retention Scheme (furlough)
UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has extended the furlough scheme until the end of September 21. Employees on furlough will receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The deadline dates for claiming under the extended furlough scheme are:
- 15 March 2021 – final date to submit claims for February 2021 by 11:59pm
- 14 April 2021 – final date to submit claims for March 2021 by 11:59pm
- 14 May 2021 – final date to submit claims for April 2021 by 11:59pm
Businesses will need to contribute 10% from July and 20% in August and September.
Non-essential retail can apply for a Restart Grant of up to £6,000 to reopen on April 12th, with businesses in hospitality and leisure, which will reopen later and will be more affected by restrictions, receiving up to £18,000, depending on their rateable value.
The Restart Grant scheme will be administered by your local council, so keep an eye on their website for when to apply.
One-off top up grants for retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses worth up to £9,000 per property are available to help them through to this spring.
The grant is provided on a per-property basis to support businesses through this latest lockdown, and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties, worth £4 billion in total across all nations of the UK.
The one-off top-ups will be granted to closed businesses as follows:
- £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under
- £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
- £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000
These grants will be available via your local council, so keep an eye on their website for more information and how to apply! Click here for more information on the grants.
Local Restrictions Support Grant Scheme
The Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme enables businesses in England to receive a cash grant from their local council for each 14-day period that they are closed. Your business may be eligible if it:
- is based in England
- occupies property on which it pays business rates (and is the ratepayer)
- is in an area of local Tier 2 or Tier 3 restrictions and has been required to close because of local restrictions that resulted in a first full day of closure on or after 9 September
- has been required to close for at least 14 days because of the restrictions
- has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises
Bounce Back Loans
The COVID-19 Bounce Back Loan Scheme enables businesses to obtain a six-year term loan at a government set interest rate of 2.5% a year.
- up to £50,000 loan – loans will be from £2,000 up to 25% of a business’ turnover or £50,000, whichever is lower
- 100% guarantee – the scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, full guarantee (100%) against the outstanding facility balance, both capital and interest
- interest rate – the UK Government has set the interest rate for this facility at 2.5% per annum, meaning businesses will all benefit from the same, low rate of interest
- interest paid by the UK Government for 12 months – the UK government will make a Business Interruption Payment to the lenders to cover the first 12 months of interest payable, so businesses will benefit from no upfront costs
Business Interruption Loan Scheme
A temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme provides lenders with a guarantee of 80% on each loan (subject to a per-lender cap on claims) to give lenders further confidence in continuing to provide finance to SMEs. The government will not charge businesses or banks for this guarantee, and the Scheme will support loans of up to £5 million in value. Businesses can access the first 12 months of that finance interest free, as government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments.
£3,000 will be given to businesses for each new apprentice hired between the 1st April to 30th September 2021.
To read more on the help available for those that are self-employed, click here.
Close Contact Services Guidance
Full details on the guidance that salons and freelancers must follow during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.
Quick guidance summary:
- You must complete a risk assessment for your salon
- Where possible, you must keep a social distance of 2m
- Maintain hand washing/sanitization
- A Type II face mask must be worn, visors and goggles are not mandatory but you must explain in your risk assessment as to why you are no longer using them
- Use a consistent team pairing/bubble system
- Maintain a high level of hygiene throughout the salon
- Encourage clients to use hand sanitizer or hand washing facilities as they enter the premises or before treatment.
- Clients must wear masks.
- When booking an appointment, asking the client if they can attend on their own, where possible.
- Adjusting how people move through the premises to reduce congestion and contact between clients, for example, queue management or one-way flow. This may only be possible in larger salons.
- Operating an appointment-only system.
- Encouraging clients to arrive at the time of their scheduled appointment.
- Seeking to avoid skin to skin contact with colleagues, and clients if not crucial for the treatment, and wearing gloves where possible.
COVID-19 related screening questions to be asked of clients ahead of their appointment, including:
- Have you had the recent onset of a new continuous cough?
- Do you have a high temperature?
- Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell?
If the client has any of these symptoms, however mild, they should stay at home and reschedule their appointment.
Client Information Collection and NHS App
It is mandatory for all salons in England to collect client information when attending their appointment. The information you will need to collect is the client's name, contact details, date of appointment, and time of arrival and departure. As almost all salons use a booking system or diary, this should be sufficient for you to continue taking your client details with. If you do not use such a system, then you will need to start collecting your clients details for track and trace.
In addition to this law is the NHS COVID-19 app. It is mandatory for all salons to display their unique QR code in the salon ready for clients to scan should they be using the app. You can download your QR code here.