Letter to UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Beauty Therapists Everywhere,
3rd November 2020
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
There is no denying that there is a global pandemic and it’s affecting every single person in completely different ways, some worse than others and we are aware that safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.
During the last lockdown, every single business owner outside of the ‘essential’ category were wondering when they could get back to ‘normality’ or at least some normality. As we eased out of lockdown, many business owners were disappointed to know that they were not allowed to open yet and some were even more disappointed and, quite frankly, stressed to know that they were the very last on the list to start trading again.
Beauty business owners and beauty therapists were those last-left disappointed group of people, and this was uncalled for!
Let me present you with some facts – you will have heard all of these of course as I’m sure many angry and frustrated people have personally written to you or tagged you in their videos, or blogs, or went down the parliament route and set up a petition. Either way, you’ve heard this but I want to reiterate because it’s so, so important!
The beauty industry in the UK alone is worth close to £30bn. And yes, we know the pub industry is worth £23bn and the restaurants contribute £38bn but let’s face it, you can’t eat or enjoy your pint with full PPE nor can you behave rationally and adhere to social distancing rules whilst you’ve had a few drinks down you!
Have you seen photos of people after 10 pm on the streets of Soho? I think you’ll agree it looks very, very different from people leaving a salon!
In a salon, you can behave and follow rules for the sake of everyone’s safety – in fact, clients and therapists want to. The therapists, and sometimes clients too can be in full PPE (i.e. during pedicures, manicures, and eyebrow/eyelash treatments), they can wear and change gloves and aprons, complete many treatments behind a partition, check temperatures on arrival, provide hand gels, limit the number of people in the salon at any one time or provide social distancing measures if more than one therapist is working. This proves that salons are a safe and hygienic place to do business. Salons have always had to follow strict rules for hygiene and safety therefore having to adhere to covid-19 regulations will not be difficult for the business owners.
Beauty therapists want to work! They want to see their clients, they want to make money to provide for their families, they don’t want to lose their business, apply for benefits, fall back on rent and, as a result, suffer depression and anxiety! They want to contribute to the economy, and people spend around £1.4bn per year on beauty treatments alone! We need to take care of our small businesses as they are the backbone of our economy. And when they can trade safely, it’s only fair that they are given the respect they deserve.
Once lockdown #2 is over, please, for the sake of businesses, the economy, and more importantly, mental health, for both clients and the business owners, allow salons to be the first or at least part of the first group of businesses to open. Don’t leave them until the very end like last time with very little financial support. Salons have learned a tremendous amount post lockdown #1 therefore reopening safely in December will be a doddle for them.
Or, better yet, allow them to continue trading …
Just a (productive) thought.
Beauty therapist everywhere.