Last night, Boris Johnson gave a press conference outlining his 4-stage plan to free the English people from the varying degrees of restrictions to their civil liberties which they have now endured for almost 12 months. The news that hair and beauty salons are to remain closed for at leas another 7 weeks has been greeted by a mixed, yet muted response.
It was, I daresay, exactly what we were all expecting – we won’t be the first to open, but certainly not the last, either. The idea that businesses offering personal services were a hotbed of infection and transmission was an awful misconception which endured throughout the first lockdown in Spring 2020. Remember, at the time, how we were one of the last industries to reopen our doors? Thank goodness that this time common-sense and a more enlightened approach by Government has prevailed!
Nevertheless, it continues to be a long wait. In Kent, for example, which went into the November lockdown in Tier 1 and came out in Tier 4 with no salon re-openings therefore in December, last night’s news means that salons there will have been closed for over 5 MONTHS by the time they can hopefully reopen on April 12th. The situation in London and many other parts of the South East has been little better, with local authority areas bouncing up and down the Tiers in December, while the Government tried to get a grip on how it would confront the perils of new emerging variants. Many Northern cities and large towns such as Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and large parts of the Midlands and Yorkshire have possibility had an even worse time of it, having experienced longer, patchier periods of lockdown and closure stretching way back to the end of the last summer, when many of us in the south dared to believe it was all over bar the shouting. So where does all this leave us almost a year on? Clinging on and scraping by if you’re one of the fortunate; doors permanently closed if you’re not?
Now is the time to get active!
Hair salons are probably the most taxed by % industries on our high streets, with around a third of all revenue being paid out in taxes to The Treasury. The Save Our Salons campaign – CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO – is on a mission to get emergency help and government approval to Chop the VAT to 5%. to bring hair and beauty salons in line with the hospitality sector.
You can also help by writing to your MP!