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Tier 3 areas are subject to the harshest restrictions, with a ban on households mixing and what businesses can stay open a matter of consultation between Government and local authorities. More than half of England is living with heightened coronavirus restrictions after the severest measures came into force in Lancashire and Liverpool this week and Londoners were banned from meeting indoors.
The new measures have placed more than 28 million people in England into the top two tiers of restrictions.
Currently only Liverpool and Lancashire are subject to the harshest restrictions – but other areas could join them in the coming months and weeks as cases go up across several areas.
The hospitality industry has suffered the most from the new restrictions, with pubs and bars in Tier 3 areas being forced to close if they cannot operate as restaurant as well.
Government ministers have said measures have been targeted at hospitality venues as supposed evidence shows they are responsible for a third of outbreaks – although some economists have said the evidence for such a claim is weak.
Can I get a haircut in Tier 3?
Hairdressers have thankfully been given the green light to stay open, even in Tier 3 lockdown areas.
Most salons have implemented measures such as face masks and shields to help prevent transmission, as well as extra cleaning measures.
The British Beauty Council appealed for hairdressers and salons to be excluded from new any Tier 3 restrictions ahead of the Government’s announcement.
The hair and beauty industry contributes £28.4 billion to the UK’s GDP each year.
In 2018 £27.2 billion was spent on hair, beauty and wellbeing across the UK.
A recent survey by the National Hair & Beauty Federation (NHBF) revealed that more than 40 percent of salons do not know whether they will survive until Christmas.
Many hairdressers are independently run businesses, and fears of a second complete lockdown could force many to close their doors forever.
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Salons were allowed to reopen in July after being forced to close in March along with the national lockdown.
The Prime Minister has been adamant about avoiding another national lockdown like the one seen in the spring.
Boris Johnson has also resisted calls for a national ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown against scientific advice, insisting local action is key to quelling the spread of the virus.
Announcing the new rules in the Commons, Mr Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Just as we simplified our national rules with the Rule of Six, we will now simplify and standardise our local rules by introducing a three tiered system of local COVID Alert Levels in England – set at medium, high, and very high.
He continued: “This is not how we want to live our lives, but this is the narrow path we have to tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human and indeed economic cost of an uncontained epidemic with local and regional and national government coming together in a shared responsibility and a shared effort to deliver ever better testing and tracing, ever more efficient enforcement of the rules and with ever improving therapies, with the mountains of PPE and the ventilators that we have stockpiled with all the lessons we have learned in the last few months we are becoming better and better at fighting this virus.”
NHS England national medical director Stephen Powis warned this week that there are currently more people in hospital with the virus than before the UK went into lockdown earlier this year.
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