Coronavirus: Guidance for beauty salons, gyms and pools as they’re allowed to reopen

The government has announced the latest easing of England’s lockdown, with beauty salons, gyms, leisure centres and pools allowed to reopen this month.

What beauty treatments can I get from Monday?

The British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC) – which has been working with the government on the reopening of the beauty sector – said treatments on the body such as manicures, pedicures, leg or bikini waxing will be allowed to go ahead when salons reopen from Monday.

Beard trimming will also be allowed, but should be limited to “simple beard trims, thinning or removing bulk or length which can be done using either clippers or scissors”, BABTAC said.

Intricate detailing, outlining or shaving of beards/moustaches that involves prolonged periods near the “high-risk zone” directly in front of the client’s face should not be carried out.

What beauty treatments can’t I get?

BABTAC said treatments on the face will not be permitted when salons reopen.

This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Face waxing, sugaring or threading services
  • Facial treatments
  • Advanced facial (electrical or mechanical)
  • Eyelash treatments
  • Make-up application
  • Dermarolling
  • Dermaplaning
  • Microblading
  • Electrolysis on the face
  • Eyebrow treatments

Salon workers are advised that treatments or services provided in the “high-risk zone” directly in front of the client’s face are the most risky in terms of catching or spreading coronavirus, because splashes and droplets from the nose and mouth are present, even when they can’t be seen.

Can I use the changing rooms at the gym when they reopen?


Government guidance published ahead of the reopening of gyms and leisure centres on 25 July states that venues “should encourage attendees to arrive at the facility in sports kit and where possible to travel home to change/shower”.

“Use of changing rooms and showering facilities should in general be avoided where possible although these must be available for participants with disabilities or special needs and are likely to be needed after swimming,” it adds.

Venues are also encouraged not to play music at a volume that makes normal conversation difficult due to the potential for increased risk of transmission – particularly from aerosol and droplet transmission – if people need to raise their voices.

Will I have to wear a face mask when I work out?

When announcing the reopening of gyms from 25 July, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said gym-goers would not need to wear face coverings.

“We have not taken a decision to require the wearing of face masks in respect of gyms,” he said.

He stressed a “whole series of mitigating measures” would be in place in gyms.

Will saunas or steam rooms be open?


The government says saunas and steam rooms should stay out of use for the time being as the risk of transmission is unclear.

Guidance also says the use of shared objects such as towels, robes, balls, weights, rackets, balls, scoring equipment, or sports clothing should be avoided unless they can be cleaned or sanitised between users.

Venues are also told to ensure any water fountains have signage which prohibits face-to-tap drinking and to stress these facilities are used only to refill personal bottles.

Will numbers be limited?

Gyms and leisure centres are being encouraged, where possible, to facilitate social distancing by limiting the overall number of customers.

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