The hair and beauty sector has been one of the worst hit industries since the start of the coronavirus last year.
After being forced to close in 2020, hairdressers were forced to close once more at the start of the year as part of England’s fresh nationwide coronavirus restrictions.
As we approach nearly three months since people were last allowed to visit their local hairdresser, lockdown hairstyles are becoming out of control.
Many people are anxiously awaiting news on when their local barber or salon could open back up.
Boris Johnson is expected to outline his roadmap out of lockdown on 22 February, when he will set out potential dates for some businesses to welcome back customers.
So, will hairdressers be included in the roadmap?
Here is everything we know so far.
When will hairdressers reopen?
The prime minister’s highly anticipated lockdown exit strategy will outline plans for easing restrictions in England.
This roadmap will detail the reopening of schools but also the gradual opening up of the economy to get “our lives back to as close to normal as possible”, Boris Johnson said.
Mr Johnson’s phased plan for easing Covid measures will be presented in three stages, according to the i paper.
The prime minister has repeatedly said that the government’s priority is to open schools, and classrooms could welcome pupils back on 8 March once the most vulnerable groups have been vaccinated.
If the R number remains low after schools return, the second stage will be to open non-essential shops, a government official reportedly told the i.
After that, hospitality businesses could open by Good Friday on 2 April, including hotels, restaurants and pubs.
Hairdressers, beauty salons and personal care services are likely to fall under the non-essential retail category, meaning they could be next to open after schools return in March.
But whether restrictions can be eased will depend on data including infection rates, death rates and how the vaccine rollout for vulnerable people is progressing.
The government is also awaiting key information on whether vaccines reduce community transmission of the virus before plans are finalised.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “We are taking those decisions this week, so we will be looking at the data, looking at the success of the vaccine rollout and how far that has reached and its impact in terms of protecting people, looking at the number of cases and critically, looking at the number of people who are in hospital and the number of deaths – those two factors are vital.
“Right now, as of today, at the latest count there are still over 23,000 people in hospital with Covid – that’s more than in the April peak – so we’ve still got some way to go, but we are looking to set out that road map on Monday.”
Could hairdressers reopen at the same time?
When hairdressers are permitted to reopen, it is likely that this will happen at the same time across the country, as Boris Johnson is reportedly not looking to return to the localised tier system.
According to the i, lockdown restrictions will be eased nationally this time around, with scientists believing that the tier system did little to prevent transmission of coronavirus.
In Tier 4 areas, hair salons were told to shut completely, while in all other tier levels they were permitted to remain open.
Mobile hairdressers also had to halt business during the third national lockdown. It is not yet clear when they will be able to resume.
Will there be Covid rules in hairdressers?
When hairdressers were open during the tier system they were instructed to operate in a Covid-secure manner.
It is likely that these rules will be reinstated when barbers and salons open back up.
That included staff wearing face shields and masks, and plastic screens were set up to separate different styling stations.
Appointments were reduced to limit the number of people in a salon at one time.
Hairdressers were also not able to offer clients food or drinks during their appointment.
There were increased hygiene rules for both staff and clients in place, including hand sanitising and wiping down chairs, equipment and surfaces.