FOOTBALLERS have been urged not to set a bad example to the public by breaking lockdown rules to get their hair cut.

Newcastle striker Joelinton has been fined £200 for breaching Covid-19 regulations after he posted a photo of himself getting a haircut on Instagram.

The post was investigated by Northumbria Police who then issued the fine, while North Tyneside Council confirmed it had issued a prohibition notice to the barber.

Other high-profile players appear to have had trims in recent weeks, but local players have largely abided by the rules.

Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Hair & Beauty Federation, has written an open letter to the football authorities after a number of members raised concerns over protocol breaches.

“We wrote the open letter to the football authorities because over the past week or 10 days we have been getting more and more emails, phone calls and social media comments from the public asking how come more and more footballers seem to have fresh haircuts,” Lambert said.

“Lets just be clear, it may well be that they are cutting their own hair or it may be that there is someone within their personal social bubble or within the club that is able to cut their hair for them – but what we found is there is a general assumption that the footballers were breaking the rules and going to get their hair cut.

“Our responsibility is to make sure that hairdressers and barbers understand the rules and abide by them and we are constantly reminding them of that with everything we are doing at the moment.

“So I thought it would be worth going back to the footballing authorities, asking them to remind the players of the same thing; that we all have a responsibility not to spread the disease, the rules are there for a reason and being people very much in the public eye it is important that they are seen to be setting an example.”

Lambert also called on hairdressers and barbers to adhere to the rules, insisting they are just as culpable as any footballer who is seeking to break lockdown measures.

“It takes two to tango,” he added. “If someone gets their hair cut by a hairdresser who is breaking the rules then the hairdresser is equally as responsible.

“The rules are there, they are there for a reason and we all have to accept them.

“One of the things that has come back to us is that people find it soul-destroying that they are complying to the rules, in the case of hairdressers many of them have been shut for five months and are seeing real financial hardship, and it really upsets them to see people who they think might be breaking the rules.

“I think from a PR perspective certainly it might help if they say ‘I cut my own hair’ or ‘someone cut my hair for me from within my bubble’ – but ultimately we all know what the rules are and we should all stick to our responsibilities.”