As England awaits the reopening of close contact services next week, some eager beauty-lovers have booked haircuts and tanning services for soon after the clock strikes midnight on Monday.
Secret Spa, which offers at-home beauty and wellness services in London, Manchester and Brighton, said it had extended its opening hours after 350 treatments were booked for Monday, with the number rising as the day approached.
Of those, five clients in Balham, south London, who were desperate for a trim and tan had booked stylists to visit their home at one minute past midnight for haircuts and bronzed skin as coronavirus restrictions ease.
The last couple of weeks have all been about planning, and the last week has been absolute joy and excitement. We have been on a massive rollercoaster, a lot of our clients are our friends and everyone has been missing social contactEmily Ewart-Perks, Secret Spa
It comes as the Government confirmed the next step on the road map out of lockdown would go ahead on April 12, which will see shops, hairdressers and pub beer gardens reopen their doors.
Secret Spa co-owner Emily Ewart-Perks said there had been even more interest in beauty services this time round compared to the first lockdown last year, with 26 clients booked from midnight to 8am on Monday.
When comparing numbers from July 4 2020, when hairdressers were allowed to reopen following the first lockdown, to April 12 this year, Mrs Ewart-Perks said bookings for tanning had gone up by 475% as a result of “a lack of sunshine over the past five months or sight of holidays abroad”.
She said bookings for manicures and pedicures had also increased by 163%, waxing 127%, massages 108% and hair 31%.
She told the PA news agency: “We are really busy on the 12th, it is so exciting, it has been a long time coming.
“We knew we were going to be busy even before Boris (Johnson) confirmed on Monday that close contact services could reopen, but after that announcement we saw an even bigger surge in bookings.
“This is like an explosion, there is so much pent-up demand.
“I think people were waiting for that date to be set in stone.”
She said clients had been left disappointed with bookings being changed or cancelled as a result of lockdown restrictions.
Mrs Ewart-Perks said: “We know we can open one minute past midnight, so we thought, why not? Let’s do this.”
She said clients were keen to indulge in therapy treatments such as massages, as a result of home-working and stress caused by the pandemic.
She added: “The last couple of weeks have all been about planning, and the last week has been absolute joy and excitement.
“We have been on a massive rollercoaster, a lot of our clients are our friends and everyone has been missing social contact.”