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NHBF “cannot understand” Scotland announcing staggered reopening of hair & beauty sector

March 18, 2021

The NHBF is again disappointed by another decision to stagger the reopening of hair and beauty with no scientific or medical evidence.

Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon today announced that hair salons and barbershops can re-open for appointments on Monday 5 April (Easter Monday), as part of a phased re-opening of non-essential retail.

From Monday 26 April all parts of Scotland in Level 4 will move down to a modified Level 3 which means the following can resume/re-open:

  • Working in people’s homes including mobile hair and beauty services (they cannot operate until this date)
  • beauty and nail services (including make-up)
  • hair removal
  • tattoo, piercing and body modification
  • fashion design, dress-fitting and tailoring
  • indoor portrait photography
  • massage therapies
  • complementary and alternative medicine services requiring physical contact or close physical proximity between persons, but not osteopathy and chiropractic services
  • spa and wellness services
  • other services or procedures which require physical contact or close physical proximity between a provider and a customer and are not ancillary to medical, health, or social care services)

Financial Support Available

  • 100% rates relief until end of March 2022
  • From 22 March, recipients of support under the Strategic Business Framework Fund will receive a final four-week payment. There will be no new claims after that date.
  • And then on 19 April, recipients will receive a combined final payment comprising a further two weeks’ closure support and a one-off restart grant. For eligible salon and barbershop businesses (ie not mobile) this will mean a payment on 19 April of up to £7,500
  • Freelance hair & beauty professionals can claim from the Mobile and Home-based Close Contact Services Fund. If you meet the relevant criteria you will receive a one-off £4,000 payment (£2,000 for the period to end December 2020 and a further £2,000 to cover the period from January 2021 onwards). The deadline for applications has been extended to 11.59pm on 23 March 2021.

Richard Lambert, NHBF chief executive says, “Obviously we are delighted that hair salons and barbershops can re-open on 5 April, but we cannot understand why those offering beauty services have to wait until 26 April. The Scottish Government has offered no scientific or medical evidence to support a staggered decision.

Scottish hair and beauty businesses were hit harder than those in any other part of the UK, losing more than half of their turnover in 2020, yet still having to pay to keep their premises ready to return to.  Even with all the financial support, the situation for many is now beyond precarious. They have already been closed for such a long time that they may not survive to re-open.”

The NHBF is pushing for further financial support for businesses which either will face a significant shortfall or for whom it is not financially viable to reopen if they cannot offer full services.

For more information on Scotland’s announcement please visit here:

For mobile hair & beauty professionals please check if you are able to claim a grant here:

More information on the latest announcement can be found via the NHBF Coronavirus Hub at