While many salons around the country are relieved to have been allowed to reopen at what is normallly the businest times in our industry,the latest news from around the UK is less than positive in terms of the rapid increase in virus infections rates again in some areas. We really hope that the rollout of the vaccine will be as swift and effective as it possibly can be and that we can all look forward to a brighter year ahead in 2021.
There are signs that this may take more time than we would all have liked though. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, announced yesterday that the furlough scheme will be extended by one additional month up until the end of April 2021, while government backed loan schemes that were due to end in January would continue until the end of March. Click here for the full details of this announcement.
There are also a number of changes coming into being in England and the Devolved Nations in the short term.
In England a number of regions have moved into tier 3 (including London) and further changes will be taking place from Saturday the 19th December. Please click here to see a full outline of all the tier changes. While our industry may remain open in all tiers, and currently there are no plans to change the allowances in place over Christmas, the situation is clearly worrying.
The Scottish Government have issued a guidance document on Christmas and the festive period in Scotland. This can be accessed here. It has also been announced that Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and East Lothian will all be moving to Level 3 from today at 6pm. For full details on which local authority areas are in which levels please click here. Some good news is that one off grants for Mobile Close contact services has been approved and further details will be provided in due course. These can be applied for in January. Please click here for the details that have been provided thus far. The Scottish government have also produced a short helpful video to clarify restrictions and provide tips for Close Contact Services. Click here to view this video.
In Wales First Minister, Mark Drakeford, announced this week that due to current conditions Wales will be moving to alert level 4. To see the full announcement click here. The restrictions will include close contact services (including mobile) once again having to close from end of business on Christmas Eve and will be reviewed after 3 weeks. For a summary of the different alert levels and restrictions click here or for a copy of the full plan click here
Northern Ireland circuit breaker lockdown came to an end a week ago and a list of the current restrictions can be found here. However the BBC announced late last night that Northern Ireland will return to another 6 week lockdown from the 26th December and that close contact services including hair and beauty salons will need to close again. For the full article please click here. New grants for newly self employed individuals has been announced. Applications for this scheme will close on the 7th January 2021. For more information on this scheme please click here