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Scottish Government to lift mask wearing restrictions in beauty salons

Gaelle Walker
26 May 2021

Scottish beauty therapists and makeup artists will be able to resume face treatments from 31 May after current mask wearing restrictions on clients are dropped, the Scottish government has confirmed.

The move, announced by Kate Forbes MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy, will once again allow Scottish hair and beauty therapists to offer a full range of services – in line with the rest of the UK.

The restrictions regarding mask wearing during treatments had had a “significant impact on revenue” according to the NHBF, with therapists not able to offer a full range of services.

Leading personal care sector organisations including the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC), the British Beauty Council, National Hair and Beauty Federation (NHBF) and the UK Spa Association, have spent months lobbying the Scottish Government to review its face covering rules and show how the industry could safely mitigate close contact risks.

Under the new rules, beauty therapists will be able to resume face treatments, as long as they are wearing a Type IIR face mask and a face visor or goggles.

Lesley Blair, chief executive officer and chair of BABTAC said: “The Scottish hair, beauty and holistic services industry has been hit hard by the pandemic.

"According to the latest research, 70% of businesses said they could not be sure their business would survive until the end of the financial year so being able to offer a full range of services is imperative for many businesses’ survival.”

“Professionals working in this industry have always followed strict health and safety guidelines and have continued to ensure a safe environment during the pandemic with the use of extensive PPE."

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NHBF, added: “I’m delighted that salons in Scotland will finally be on a level playing field with the rest of the UK and that we succeeded in making the case that this is a safe and responsible sector.”

Helena Grzesk, chief operating officer of The British Beauty Council and UKSA Policy Consultant said: “It's fabulous news for the hundreds of make-up artists and beauty practitioners in Scotland who have endured a very tough and challenging year.

"They have been unable to work due to the existing face covering requirements. Naturally, we are delighted that the Scottish government listened and took the time to review the beauty industry's call to allow clients to temporarily remove face coverings to receive a treatment.”

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