SAGE report clears hairdressing

As England heads into our second national Lockdown, and salons in Wales, Ireland and Scotland cope with a variety of measures meaning doors are often closed to clients, we are all frustrated. You’ve all gone to extreme lengths to keep clients safe; and now feel they’ve been ignored. So, it is a relief is some way to be exonerated from spreading infection by the words of SAGE in saying hair and barber salons are not to blame.


Chris Whitty (left) with Boris Johnson and Sir Patrick Vallence (right)

On the press briefings given by Downing Street, you’ll see Boris, or Nick Handcock or other ministers flanked by two people who give out the ‘science’ to support measures introduced. This science is provided by SAGE. They are the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies and it’s SAGE’s role is to provide ministers and officials with evidence-based scientific advice in emergencies, ensuring government advisers are informed and best-placed to make critical decisions based on a range of credible scientific evidence. Sir Patrick Vallance is Chief Scientific Adviser for SAGE and is often on screen with Chris Whitty, the Medical Officer for England.


Following extensive discussions and debate with BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) concerning the Covid infections rates relating to our industry, Keith Conniford, CEO and Registrar for The Hair and Barber Council, announced today he had at last received a statement from SAGE research stating the following: It has emerged that hairdressing and non-essential retail as SAGE research shows these services only contribute ‘up to 0.05’ to the ‘R’ rate!

This is great news for us and something to really shout about to your clients, family and friends. The R rate is the reproductive rate of transmission – so that for every person infected if the R rate is 1 or more than 1, it means minimum of one other person gets infected. This means the numbers of people having Covid goes up. If the R rate is less then 1, it’s diminishing. So an R rate of ONLY up to 0.05 means very low chance of someone spreading Covid in a salon or non-essential retail environment is very low. That’s amazing given the potential.

Keith explains that the Hair and Barber Council has been lobbying to get these results released for weeks. “At last these rates categorically show that our industry and indeed all non-essential retail, is not responsible for the increase in Covid-19 infection rates throughout the UK. It has been difficult to obtain these figures but we have had extensive discussions to find out what effects our industry is having on transmission of infections. We’re delighted to see that all the hard work by hair and barber salons to ensure their businesses are Covid safe has paid off and we will continue to fight for the industry to be properly supported in recognition of this.

 So be proud, be confident and keep doing what you’re doing everyone everywhere. When we reopen, you can do this with energy and the knowledge you are keeping your clients safe. 

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