Northern Ireland salons set for 4 week closure

The beauty, hair and complementary therapy sectors in Northern Ireland are being forced to close from Friday (16th October) for four weeks under new COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

Announced today (14th October) at an extraordinary plenary session of the Northern Ireland Assembly, close contact services, apart from those meeting essential health needs excluding complementary therapies, will be unable to operate in an attempt to reduce the coronavirus infection rate. Restrictions are set to end on Friday 13th November.

As well as salons and spas being forced to close, beauty and hair professionals, including massage therapists and make-up artists, will be unable to work in clients' homes. 

In addition, schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday 19th October, including the usual half-term holiday, until Monday 2nd November. 

Other sectors affected include hospitality with pubs, bars and restaurants shutting down, takeaways closing at 11pm, off-licenses and supermarket sales of alcohol ending at 8pm, and gyms forced to stop group exercise. 

First Minister Arlene Foster stated that specific support for businesses forced to close will discussed tomorrow (15th October). The current Job Retention Scheme, or furlough scheme, remains in place until 31st October followed by the introduction of the new Job Support Scheme from 1st November announced by UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently. Cash grants of up to £3,000 per month paid for businesses legally asked to close have also been announced.  

More to follow.

Published: 11.00am 14.10.2020