ONE in five beauty salons could go under unless Boris Johnson reopens them within weeks, the industry has warned.
The British Beauty Council begged the PM to reopen beauty parlours and nail salons as soon as possible, or cough up £500million to bailout the industry for weeks to come.
It comes ahead of the PM making his lockdown announcement later today.
And gym bosses warned they were burning half a million pounds every day that they were shut too – as they begged to be allowed to open soon.
Millions of people are unable to get beauty treatments including eyebrow treatments, waxing, nail appointments or facials are illegal as shops were ordered to shut.
And gyms have been ordered to stay shut too since the lockdown was announced, over fears they were a vector for transmission of the virus.
The beauty industry has demanded the Chancellor use his upcoming Budget cuts VAT for the £23billion sector down to five per cent like the hospitality sector has had.
And they claimed almost two-thirds have run out of cash reserves, with thousands of firms on the brink of collapse.
Millie Kendall MBE, chief executive of the British Beauty Council pleaded with the PM for help today, saying: “Our industry cannot be delayed any longer than is strictly necessary, or thousands of businesses will be left extremely vulnerable.
“We appeal to the Prime Minister today to give us hope we soon be back to business as usual.”
Fiona Fowley of Zen Lifestyle Salons in Edinburgh begged ministers for urgent help.
She said today: “We still need to pay NI, pensions, holiday pay, insurance, rent, software charges, phone line rental, waste collection and card terminal rentals – the list is vast.
“I have not been able to draw any income from the business for a year – and there has been no government support to business owners to ensure some level of family income.
“After the first lockdown beauty salons were the last industry to reopen. However, beauty salons seem to be among the first business to close when there have been local or national lockdowns, so we do seem to have suffered disproportionately as an industry.”
Meanwhile gym owners are facing similar troubles as they are still ordered to stay shut.
PureGym owner Humphrey Cobbold said earlier the firm was burning through “about £500,000 a day” after having been closed for an average of eight months.
He said earlier: “It’s been brutually tough.
“The sooner the better within safe operating procedures for us. We can make a massive contribution to the health of the nation.”
The PM will lay out his roadmap back to normal later today, and is expected to give an indication of when they can return.
Hairdressers are expected to stay shut until at least April – meaning close contact services like beauty are likely going to be off until then.
Senior sources say the beauty industry still “have some time to go” before they can re-open.
Schools are going to be the first things to be allowed to reopen – with all kids back in class from March 8.
Also from them people will be allowed out of their homes to meet one other person – not just for exercise.
By the end of March, the rule of six is expected to be back in place outside, and people will be allowed to meet with other households.
After that, hospitality and hairdressers are expected to reopen in stages.
Holidays aren’t expected to be on the cards for months to come, but staycations are set to be allowed first.