After more than 100 days of lockdown, people across the country have been eager to chop their shaggy caveman barnets or give their roots a good colouring.
Unless you live with someone who knows what they’re doing or were brave enough to try your own DIY job, you’ve probably just had to let it grow since March 23, when barbers were ordered to close their doors to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But today hairdressers, pubs, restaurants and cinemas have been allowed to open after the Government cleared the way for the biggest reopening of business in England since the pandemic.
Marking the start of ‘Super Saturday’, some people in dire need of a trim headed straight to their local hair salon for the stroke of midnight. Staff wearing masks, visors and aprons might be a strange sight, but many were happy to accept this as part of the ‘new normal’.
Customers at Boyd Hair and Beauty in Carlisle, Cumbria, were met at the door and escorted directly to the cutting station and escorted out immediately after they had their trim. Chairs were then sprayed with disinfectant before a new customer was allowed in and cutting stations were two metres apart inside the salon.
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There were no complimentary cups of tea, no magazines and staff were dressed in PPE including a face shield. But owner Gordon Adamson said customers were still keen to get their haircut and the salon is fully booked for the next six weeks. He said: ‘I’m delighted, I’m excited to be open and it’s great to see people in the shop.
‘Everyone had a smile on their face this morning, they were happy to be back, they’ve been waiting for so long to get their hair cut. I think people have got used to the PPE now, it’s different, but it is the new normal.
‘We had four staff in at midnight and we had eight clients through the door by 2.30am. All our staff have the full PPE on and we are lucky that we have 3,000 square feet so we can keep everyone safe and maintain social distancing within the shop.
‘We can do a cut and colour and let someone’s treatment set in while another customer gets their hair cut.’
Mr Adamson took over the lease of the salon three weeks ago after its previous owners retired and saved its 14 staff from redundancy. Within hours of signing, Boris Johnson announced that hairdressers could open on July 4.
He added: ‘After that, the phones haven’t stopped ringing. It’s been mental, as soon as you put the phone down, you’re picking it back up again.
‘I think people have been looking forward to this. I think people like to pamper themselves.
‘And with the pubs and restaurants open too it’s great for people – what better way to enjoy yourself then to get your hair done and then go for a drink or something to eat?
I think people are still scared, we’ve had plenty of people asking questions when they book in, but I think they’re reassured by the measures we are taking.’
Sarah Jacobs, one of the first customers at Tusk Hair, Camden, north-west London, said it was ‘such a relief’ to get her mop chopped and thanked owner Carole Rickaby.
She told the Evening Standard: ‘My hair was everywhere. I’d been wearing hats to hide it. Although Carole is booked for two-and-a-half weeks, I called her and she said I could come in at midnight, which I was grateful for. It was nice to feel a bit like normal again.’
Daren Terry, of Lotus Styling in Bognor, said he chose to open at midnight because the demand was high enough.
He told MailOnline: ‘In truth, I could stay open for the next 24 hours and I would be flat out because we have been closed for so long.’
Customer Kai Ward, 51, said: ‘I always get my hair cut by Daren. Once I knew he was going to start at midnight I had to be the first.’
Owner of Charlotte’s Academy Charlotte Stephan said: ‘I’m so excited. I’m very close to a lot of my customers and it feels as if I’m being reunited with family members.
‘I have to be there to see them again but it’s going to be really hard not to hug them. I don’t like coffee so it’s adrenaline that’s going to be keeping me awake.’
Today Brits are expected to guzzle an estimated 15 million pints after pubs were given the green light to open their doors from 6am this morning.
Last month Boris Johnson said a number of businesses in the hospitality sector could open their doors on July 4, but they will have to follow strict guidelines and show they are ‘Covid-secure’.
In order to help them get back into action the Prime Minister said the two-metre social distancing rule would be reduced to ‘one-metre plus’, meaning certain ‘mitigations’ such as masks and protective screens should be use to minimise the spread of the virus.
Experts say 23,000 boozers will re-open under these new rules, but industry chiefs have warned 19,000 could end up closing forever.
Addressing the nation at a Downing Street press conference yesterday the PM urged the public to behave themselves and not get too hammered today.
Fears have been raised that these new freedoms could lead to a second spike in coronavirus cases as the UK’s official death toll exceeds 44,000.
The Tory leader said workers had put in a ‘heroic effort’ to prepare for July 4 and the success of their livelihood, the economy and whole country was dependent on everyone following social distancing rules.
He said: ‘Lockdown only succeeded in controlling the virus because everyone worked together, and we will only succeed in reopening if everyone works together again, because we are not out of the woods yet.
‘The virus is still with us and the spike in Leicester has shown that. If it starts running out of control again this government will not hesitate in putting on the brakes and re-imposing restrictions.
‘Anyone who flouts social distancing and Covid-secure rules is not only putting us all at risk but letting down those businesses and workers who have done so much to prepare for this new normal.
‘So as we take this next step, our biggest step yet, on the road to recovery, I urge the British people to do so safely.’
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