4th July saw a whole host of places given the green light to re-open in the UK, from pubs to hairdressers. But one that mysteriously was left off the list was beauty salons, which are still being ordered to shut as part of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The decision has left thousands out of work and without an idea of when they will be able to start earning again, as the government has offered no timeline or support specifically to help. These include manicurists, estheticians, massage therapists, cosmetic doctors, and beauty therapists, among others.
The news has come as a shock to many, as most of these places and professions follow the most rigorous sanitary and hygiene standards, and always have done. Despite this, they are currently in the same category as nightclubs, according to Public Health England.
The situation worsened when the issue was brought up in parliament, to which MPs scoffed and dismissed the pressure to change their minds, despite the fact that the beauty sector is responsible for employing nearly 370,000 people and supporting another 220,000. This is more than those employed in the law and social work sectors. The beauty industry also contributes £8 billion to the UK economy, so the re-opening of beauty-based businesses is clearly no insignificant matter.
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Beauty is Big Business. In 2018 the direct contributions to GDP from the beauty industry was £14.2 billion, generating almost £30 bn in consumer spending across the sector. To give a sense of scale, that was greater than the contribution to GDP made by motor vehicles manufacturing and publishing industries. The British Beauty Council commissioned the 'Value of Beauty' report by Oxford Economics to quantify, for the first time, the total contribution made by the beauty industry to the UK economy in 2018. You can read 'The Value of Beauty' report via the link in our bio.
As well as supporting your local beauty businesses by buying gift cards for their services to use later down the line, and continuing to follow and mention them on social media, you can write a letter to your local MP about this issue if it frustrates you. The British Beauty Council has made it easier than ever to do so after it published an email template to use, which asks the government to reconsider their decision, and begins:
‘I am urgently seeking your support to ask if you will write to the Prime Minister to ask him to urgently take steps to open up the industry.’
After explaining the value of the British beauty industry, it then states:
‘Therefore, I ask that you write to the Prime Minister and ask him to:
- Reconsider the re-opening of beauty, spa and wellness services alongside hairdressers.
- Provide immediate clarity to those in the beauty, spa and wellness sector on when we will be allowed to reopen.’