Scotland: Guidance and Support
See below for Scotland’s close contact guidance, tier system information, and financial support options to help salons affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic...
Scotland is slowly coming out of its current lockdown. All hair and barber salons reopened on 5th April, with all other close contact services opening on 26th April.
Tier Restriction System
- Level 0: Meeting indoors - eight people from three households, most businesses open. Close contact services and mobile close contact services are permitted.
- Level 1: Meeting indoors reduced to 6 people from 2 households, but still a responsible degree of normality. Close contact services and mobile close contact services are permitted.
- Level 2: Limits on hospitality and no meeting indoors. Close contact services in-salon are permitted, but mobile close contact services are not permitted.
- Level 3: Much of hospitality closed. Close contact services in-salon are permitted but may be subject to additional protective measures. Mobile close contact services are not permitted.
- Level 4: Non-essential shops closed, but six people from up to 2 households can still meet outdoors. All salons and services are to be closed.
Strategic Framework Business Fund
If your business is required to close by law or to significantly change its operations due to COVID-19 restrictions from 2 November 2020, you may be eligible to apply for grant funding. Applications to the Strategic Framework Business Fund should be made through your local authority website. Grants will be paid every 4 weeks in arrears as long as restrictions last.
You can apply for a:
- temporary closure grant - £2,000 or £3,000 (depending on rateable value) if your business is required to close by law
- business restrictions grant - £1,400 or £2,100 (depending on rateable value) if your business can remain open but is specifically required to modify its operations by law, for example having to close earlier than normal.This does not include where a demand for your products or services has been reduced because of the pandemic
Payments will be paid administered by local authorities, and you will not need to re-apply if restrictions are extended beyond four weeks.
Extra Support Grants
Extra support has been announced for Scottish salons. In addition to the grants businesses receive through the Strategic Business Framework Fund, eligible businesses will also get a one off grant of:
- £25,000 for larger hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
- £6,000 for smaller hospitality businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
- £9,000 for larger retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £3,000
- £6,000 for smaller retail and leisure businesses on top of the 4-weekly £2,000
In most cases, eligible businesses that have already applied for the 4-weekly payment from the Strategic Framework Business Fund will get an automatic top-up.
Businesses that haven’t yet applied for either of these funds should submit an application as soon as possible through their local authority website. Applications are now open.
Mobile and Home-Based Close Contact Service Providers Fund
A grant is available for mobile and home-based close contact service businesses – such as make-up artists and hairdressers. The fund will provide £4,000 grants to successful applicants. Full eligibility details and how to apply is here.
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.
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.
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.
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 handwashing/sanitization
- Face coverings are mandatory for clients and for staff. A face covering is defined as any type of protective clothing which covers a person’s nose and mouth, which includes fabric face coverings, scarves and visors. In the Scottish close contact checklist, (which you can download here) it states: Staff should wear a visor in addition to a face covering. Visors are recommended but face masks are mandatory.
- You cannot ask a client/customer to remove their face covering. No treatment should be performed that requires the face covering to be removed. This includes treatments that your service might routinely provide. Whilst beauty therapists are able to operate, certain therapies should not be performed if they break other guidance or regulations. This means treatments that require the removal of a face covering should not be offered or carried out, even if the client is exempt from wearing a face covering and the area is exposed. Current professional advice is that, for safety reasons, close contact services should not be performed where face-coverings cannot be worn.
- 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.
NHS Scotland Test and Protect
You must collect your clients/customers details either through a booking system or manually on the day of their appointment.
The gathering of contact information in a secure and safe manner from clients/customers or visitors to premises, will assist NHS Scotland's Test and Protect service to identify and contact individuals who may have been exposed to the virus, and request them to take appropriate steps to prevent the potential onward spread of the virus. The data will also be helpful to the NHS and key local partners to manage and contain location-specific outbreaks.