Hair salons could safely reopen at end of June, industry body says

Federation calls for earlier reopening with strict health restrictions in place

Hair salons: Face coverings for staff and clients will be mandatory, while customers would be seen by appointment only. Photograph: iStock

Hair salons: Face coverings for staff and clients will be mandatory, while customers would be seen by appointment only. Photograph: iStock

 

Hairdressers could safely reopen salons at the end of June with strict health and safety rules in place, the Irish Hairdressers Federation has said.

The federation has pledged to abide by a list of 110 guidelines based on official public health advice, said Lisa Eccles, the body’s incoming vice-president, if they are allowed to reopen on the earlier date of June 29th, rather than July 20th.

“If we remain closed until July 20th, that will mean we will have been out of business for 18 weeks when the average time hairdressers were closed in other countries across the EU has been between six and eight weeks,” Ms Eccles said.

Salons operate to high hygiene levels, she said and were amongst the first businesses to close when Covid-19 struck: “We did that before we were even told to do so,” she said.

Face coverings for staff and clients will be mandatory, along with extra hand- washing, while customers would be seen by appointment only. No walk-ins will be allowed.

Customers will not be served if they are running a temperature, or have been out of the country, while contact tracing will be possible because full customer records will be kept.

“Most clients are known to the salons or book through apps or online,” she said, adding that hairdressers would only work “predominantly from behind the chair”, rather than being in front of the customer.

During a meeting this week with the Government, the federation will pledge to change gowns after each client and ensure that all towels and other non-disposable items will be washed at 60 degrees.

‘Let us plan’

“The country has already done so well not only in flattening the curve but in getting the spread of the virus under control and the date we are looking to reopen at the end of June is still five weeks. That would give the authorities time to change that if there was a rise in cases but we can’t see what is wrong with allowing salons to at least be prepared to open on June 29th and work from there. If they decide that we can’t closer to the time then so be it but at least let us plan.”

While a visit to a hair salon or a barbers might seem trivial to some people, she added, for many others, it is something that can lift their spirits. “There are a lot of people who associate feeling good with looking good and getting their hair done is something that will give them a little lift, and that can apply especially when it comes to older people.”