I am pleased that, as we are now in a strengthened tier system, all close contact service businesses can reopen and perform all treatments, provided they adhere to COVID-secure guidance. The virus can thrive in indoor spaces, and I can understand why the Government initially erred on the side of caution following the first lockdown, but it was right to allow beauty salons to reopen in mid-July, with some close-contact treatments restarting in August. I am glad that, following the second lockdown, beauty salons have been able to immediately resume all treatments in all tiers.
However, I know that many beauty salons, and other businesses, have found this pandemic an extremely difficult period. The Government has, therefore, rightly provided additional financial support to help businesses through the winter period, including an extension of the furlough scheme until the end of March, and grants for businesses which have been required to close. Eligible closed businesses in England can receive up to £1,500 per 14 days and eligible businesses which can reopen but are suffering due to restrictions on socialising are eligible for cash grants of up to £1,050 per 14 days. This comes on top of existing support such as VAT deferrals, sick pay rebate and Government-backed loan schemes.