Hairdressers appeal to reopen for fully vaccinated people

Move would provide ‘great boost’ to elderly and frontline staff, hairdresser group says

Hairdressers have appealed to the Government to be permitted to reopen salons for people who have been fully vaccinated, ahead of Cabinet’s decision on easing restrictions in the coming days.

The Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) said a partial reopening of salons would be a "great boost" to elderly people who have received their vaccines, after cocooning for much of the last year.

Hairdressers and salons have been closed since Christmas Eve, along with restaurants and pubs that serve food.

In a statement on Saturday, the hairdressers group appealed to the Government to permit a limited opening of the sector, which they claimed would help peoples’ mental health and wellbeing.


Danielle Kennedy, president of the IHF, said hairdressers could provide services in a "safe, controlled environment" to people who had received their two vaccine shots.

“Elderly people have been cocooning for the past year and it would be such a great boost for their mental health and general wellbeing to be able to pop down to the salon and talk to people,” she said.

The National Public Health Emergency Team is to meet on Monday and will issue recommendations to Government on proposed easing of lockdown restrictions.

Cabinet will then meet on Tuesday to decide on any potential relaxation of measures, however recent increases in Covid-19 infections have limited the scope for easing of the strict Level 5 lockdown.

Ministers are likely to consider changes to the 5km limit on non-essential journeys, which may see the distance relaxed or travel permitted within county boundaries.

Ms Kennedy said the reopening of hair salons for those who are fully vaccinated would also provide a boost to frontline healthcare workers.

“Not a day goes by where we don’t think about our heroic frontline healthcare workers who have been suffering under huge strain and trauma with this crisis for the past year,” she said.

“I don’t know anybody who would deny them the boost they deserve and it would be great if they could enjoy a trip to their hair salon or barber.”

The hairdressers’ association represents more than 500 salon owners across the country, who employ about 7,000 stylists.

“We are asking the Government to consider our essential proposal with the wellbeing of these two groups in mind, as they have been hardest hit by the pandemic. Hair salons are safe and hygienic spaces for them to go to,” she said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times