Consider letting beauty salons reopen this weekend, says Ipswich MP Tom Hunt
PUBLISHED: 12:22 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:44 30 June 2020
THE BEAUTY ACADEMY
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt has urged government ministers to consider allowing beauty salons to reopen this weekend - amid fears beauticians’ jobs could be at risk following the Covid-19 crisis.
The Conservative, elected to Parliament in December 2019, said during work and pensions questions in the House of Commons: “I have recently been contacted by a number of beauty salons, such as the Beauty Academy in Ipswich, that have serious concerns about not being able to reopen their doors as expected on July 4 alongside hairdressers.”
While a whole raft of business - including pubs and hairdressers - will be allowed to reopen their doors on Saturday after months of closure due to coronavirus, beauty salons and nail bars must remain closed.
The Beauty Academy, in Duke Street, has helped launch a national campaign called “The Forgotten Industry” to try and revoke the decision, with owner Col Rivers stressing that many beauty salons are already well-placed to meet the challenges posed by Covid-19 - given their high levels of hygiene and sanitisation.
Mr Hunt spoke up for the campaign in Westminster, saying: “Many beauty salons under pressure have already shut their doors for good, causing a number of job losses.”
He also asked the government how it would be “giving them the certainty they need so that they can plan over the coming weeks”.
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In response, work and pensions minister Mims Davies MP said: “We are actively working with colleagues across government, including the business secretary, to get people back into work and open up as soon as possible.
“The government are committed to reopening businesses in a phased approach, guided by the science, when it is safe to do so.”
Following his question, Mr Hunt said: “Listening carefully to the arguments from beauty salons like the Beauty Academy in Ipswich over recent days, I do share many of their concerns and their disappointment that they won’t be allowed to reopen from July 4 at the same time as hairdressers and many other businesses.
“Many beauty salons already have high levels of sanitisation and had made additional preparations to reopen as they expected to on July 4.
“It was important to raise some of these arguments in Parliament, including by underlining the jobs that are at risk if beauty salons are to remain closed for longer.
“The government should reconsider the decision not to allow beauty salons to reopen on July 4 and provide clarity as soon as possible to these businesses who have already faced immense challenges and are looking to their reopening as a crucial moment in getting back on track.”
Mr Rivers added: “We as an industry are incredibly grateful for all Tom’s efforts and although we didn’t receive the answers today we were necessarily looking for, we did register a vital point of interest of which Tom has explained to me.
“We take heart from today and press forward with our campaign.”