Salon owners’ phones are “going nuts” after PM Boris Johnson’s reopening announcement – and they’re saying it will be “like the Christmas rush again”.
Hairdressers, beauty and nail salons will be able to reopen from April 12 at the earliest as part of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, Boris Johnson said on Monday.
And for Teessiders craving a post-lockdown haircut or manicure, it can’t come soon enough.
Business owners have said they thought it would be later – but there are certainly no complaints.
It was Ingleby Barwick nail expert Sarah Clarke’s clients themselves who told her about the announcement.
“I hadn’t seen it yet,” she told Teesside Live. “But lots of my clients were messaging.
“I said ‘Boris must have spoken, my phone’s going nuts’.”
Sarah continued: “I thought it would be May. But to be honest, it’s still disappointing because it’s been so long.
“Opening up today would be even nicer. Our industry was not spreading the virus.
“We are a clean industry, we are always hand sanitising, cleaning equipment anyway.”
It’s been a worrying time for business, she says.
“People get used to not having their nails and their lashes done, a lot will lose clients,” she continued.
“Everyone’s out of work so they can’t afford it.
“My clients are all year round and they book in advance so I’ve already got them in until summer time, which is good.”
Contemporary hair salons group owner Alan Simpson said: “We’re delighted to have a date to work towards.
“We feared it would be later than that – we’d heard end of April or May over the weekend.
“It could change obviously; the challenge right now is do we sit back and wait two or three weeks until the schools go back and we can get a clearer picture?
“We’re talking to all the salons about that – but it’s great news.
“I think our clients will be happy, we’ve had constant messages asking us when they can book in.”
Patricia Flaherty of Niche Hairdressing in Norton, said lots of clients have been contacting them and April “it will be like the Christmas rush again”.
“Even myself, I’ve always had short hair and mine is like a shaggy dog,” she quipped.
“People can’t wait to get their hair done.
“We thought it would be the end of April, so for us it’s great – if we’ve got a starting point, we can get organised.
“But it is wise to be cautious. We could not withstand another lockdown.
“We have to take it slowly. We don’t want it to flare up again.
“I’m turning 60 – so I’m hoping to be vaccinated before we go back.”
Carol Robinson, of Ultra Chique Clinique, says finally having a potential date in mind gives “hope and clarity” to the industry.
“We are desperate to get back to work, so far we have been closed over seven months losing 75% of our revenue.
“However safety comes first and if takes a bit longer we’d rather wait, we don’t want to be reopening and closing again it’s important to get it right this time enabling us all to get back to some form of normality.
“We also wait in anticipation to hear the Chancellor’s announcement next Wednesday regarding further help for businesses like us.”