Author Archives: Sam Tabahriti

When will hairdressers reopen in the UK?

With several European countries including France, Germany, Spain and Portugal now easing their social distancing measures enough to allow hairdressers to reopen – the hashtags #CovidCut and #LockdownHaircut are going viral.

It is no surprise that residents of the UK are asking when our hairdressers will reopen, and what we can expect from salons when they finally open their doors again.

Here’s what we know about salons that have reopened in other countries while social distancing:


Salons in Germany opened on Monday this week. If you visit a salon here expect to see these restrictions being enforced


France announced their hairdressers will open on the 11th of May. They share the same restrictions as Germany, but customers will be required to provide their own face masks. 


Spanish salons opened this week under Phase 0 of their lockdown lifting, alongside dental and physiotherapy clinics and restaurants with take-away services. The restrictions state that they can operate at 30% capacity by appointment only. 


Italy’s hair salons remain closed until June 1st, with the country beginning to ease restrictions on Monday.

In the UK we may seek guidance from neighbouring Ireland who have announced that their barbers and hairdressers will be re-opening in late July as a part of their 5 step lockdown exit plan. 

The National Hairdressers’ Federation of Britain issued strict instructions to salons and freelance hairdressers that want to re-open before restrictions are lifted. “This would be against the government’s strict social distancing instructions which say you must stay at home apart from essential travel. We need to do all we can to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Also – please bear in mind that your insurance will probably not cover you if you normally work in a salon or barbershop.”

Fashion student raises money to make scrubs for the NHS

Katie Winter-Wright is a Year 2 fashion student at the University of Westminster. She has been raising money via her social media platforms in order to make scrubs for the NHS workers.

Katie has used all the fund to buy specific fabrics that the scrubs needed.

This is an interview with her, let’s see what she’s got to say about the experience of volunteering. 

(image by: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash)

by Vivian Qui

WNOL reveals what the millennials want and it is not a return to normality

Boris Johnson announced that an easing of the lockdown will happen next Monday. He will set out his exit strategy at the weekend.

His plan for the ‘second phase’ to fight against the coronavirus will be televised on Sunday, where more information of an easing of the lockdown will be explained.

The UK has been in lockdown since 23rd March and is now in the middle of the seventh week. While other countries such as France will see some businesses opening back on the 11th May, the British position remains uncertain.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson from

Approaching the easing of the lockdown, we created a poll to find out how many people wish to return to what we used to know and call it a normal life, or whether they would rather keep some elements of the lockdown.

We, therefore, conducted the same poll on two different platforms, Twitter and Instagram.

Twitter Results. Graph by Sam Tabahriti
Instagram Results. Graph by Sam Tabahriti

Results show a large desire to keep some elements of the lockdown.

To find out more in regards to why they would wish to keep some of the elements, we conducted a survey and targeted a rather young adult audience, whom most are students in their first or second year of university.

The survey showed that 87.8% are aged between 17-24 and most responders were women (87.8%).

To the question: “how do you feel about the future?”, most of the answers were about uncertainty and worries about what will happen next.

Unsurprisingly, every single response to: “What is the first thing you want to do once lockdown is lifted?”, was going out to meet friends and socialise as we normally do.

Photograph by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Students show optimism about the nearest future, where 41.5% of the responses show they are confident to find a new job in the next three months, 22% in the next six months, 17.1% in the next 9 months, however, 19.5% responded they may find a job in the next 12 months.

Queues in supermarkets have become a socialising way to meet new people and have a laugh with others than the people you live with, giving you a good escape moment.

The survey responses show that many people actually enjoyed the queuing system put into place and would like to keep a similar system.

Image source: Chris Spiegl on Unsplash

Will lockdown be lifted on Monday?

UK’s prime minister Boris Johnson attended PMQ’s for the first time after his recovery due to Coronavirus.

Having been confronted by the Labour Leader, Sir Keir Starmer, he hinted that the measures he intends to set out on Sunday could be put into place as quickly as the following day. However, he did not indicate how or which lockdown restrictions would be lifted. 

Clearly, this will not happen until he has considered the scientific and medical advice from the experts. There is a need for families and businesses to return to some normality in order to ensure stable mental health and economic easing. 


K. Mitch Hodge/Unsplash

The prime minister’s words come shortly before the Secretary of State announced the total death toll rising to over 30,000 as another 649 people tragically died.

The government urges the public to be aware that no lockdown restrictions will be lifted until the “five tests” have been accomplished. 

BBC political correspondent has suggested that even though small tweaks may occur on Monday, the lockdown will “largely stay in place”. This could mean changes in the number of times we can exercise and our freedom within outdoor areas.


Edward Howell/Unsplash

Many other countries have suffered a great loss since the start of the pandemic, however, currently, the United Kingdom is the hardest-hit country in Europe and has the second-highest number of deaths in the world.

However, the government have argued it is too early to make international comparisons. 

The pandemic is at different stages around the world, countries have begun to make changes to their lockdowns, easing restrictions and giving their population more freedom.

Spain, Italy and Switzerland are among many countries in Europe that have allowed citizens to exercise and small businesses have been reopened. 

Moving outside of Europe, Pakistan along with other countries.

Along with other countries, Pakistan is gradually lifting their lockdown as well. The government has allowed people to open their businesses, despite a surge in Covid-19 cases that are more than 23,000 with over 500 deaths in the country. 

The National Coordination Committee (NCC) had a meeting in which they decided that it is important to ease the lockdown for the daily wage workers and small businesses since Pakistan is immensely struggling economically due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The lockdown has caused tension for 7 million daily wagers in the country and their families. 

However, the prime minister has urged people to follow SOPs and maintain social distancing even after the restrictions are lifted.

By Grace Staley and Warshma Chughtai

Image source: Edward Howell / Unsplash

Hong-Kong police block protective gear give-away

The Construction Site Workers General Union (the Union) set up a street counter to distribute free protective gears against the Coronavirus pandemic on 1 May but was interrupted by the police.

The participants were prosecuted with a fine of 2000 HDK (£200) according to regulations to maintain social distancing. To protest against what it called “selective law enforcement”, the Union organised a similar event at the Hoi Fu Bridge outside the Hong Kong central government complex at noon on 6 May.

Participants are wearing their working outfit at the event to show that they represent the Union – Photograph by Xinyi Huang

What happened on 1 May?

The Union gave out passers-by free facial masks and hand sanitiser at Kwai Fong, Sham Shui Po and Kwun Tong on 1 May. When the volunteers were discharging these materials from cars, some police officers stopped them and checked their ID documents. All three counters were warned that such gathering was against regulations of social distancing. Later, the police blocked the counters with cable ties.

What happened this time?

Before the street counter was set up, there were already police officers in plain-clothes standing around. When the event started at 11am, organisers were given a written warning of “prohibition of social gathering”. The facial masks and hand sanitisers the Union distributed have phrases such as “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Time” on it, a popular slogan during last year’s protests. There was also a loudspeaker repeating the Union’s demand for workers’ right and protest-related chanting. When the event finished at 2pm, all participants were prosecuted with a fine of $2000 (£200).

Passers-by getting free protective gears – Photograph by Xinyi Huang
On the bottles of hand sanitizer, it writes “Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of our time” – Photograph by Xinyi Huang

Is the street counter illegal?

According to the Prevention and Control of Disease (Prohibition on Group Gathering) Regulation (Cap. 599G), group gathering held for handling supplies or items, that are conducive to the prevention and control of the disease, is exempted from prosecution. The Union, therefore, claimed that their street counters were “absolutely legal”. However, the police argued that slogans on these supplies and what the loudspeaker was playing made the event an illegal social gathering.

The Union further argued that even if the street counters were illegal, the police were not following the principle of equality before law because previously, another pro-Beijing party held a similar event at Sham Shui Po without any interference from the police.

The Regulation does not specify whether there can be other elements with the supplies, so the argument between the two parties remains a grey area.

Why the police?

Hong Kong police have been blamed by local activists for their misconduct during last year’s protests. Tear gas, pepper spray and rubber bullets were fired by the police to disperse protesters. There were also allegations of arbitrary arrests, brutal beatings and torture in police detention.

Participants’ Voice

Organiser of this event, V, said he was resentful of what the police did.

V said his code name stands for victory: victory of Hong Kong people in liberating the city. Photograph by Xinyi Huang

Kelvin Chan, a volunteer at the event, is a construction worker at West Kowloon and joined the Union last September. He also participated in other street counter events last year during the protests.

Kevin Chan was giving out leaflets to passers-by. Photograph by Xinyi Huang

(image by: Xinyi Huang)

by Xinyi Huang

Coronavirus: Spain update

Spain has experienced one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe.

As death tolls and infection rate decreases, Spaniards have been allowed out for the first time after seven weeks.

They are currently lifting the lockdown through phases, phase zero started last Sunday.


Image source: Ross Sneddon / Unsplash

By Grace Staley

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