For the first time since hairdressers and barber shops closed in March, people will be able to get a long-awaited haircut. Prime Minister Boris Johnson made the announcement in a speech from the House of Commons on Tuesday, June 23, saying: “And almost as eagerly awaited as a pint will be a haircut, and so we will reopen hairdressers with appropriate precautions, including the use of visors. We also intent to allow some close contact services, such a nail bars, to reopen as soon as we can when we are confident they can operate in a COVID-secure way.”
Will hairdressers have to wear visors?
When hairdressers begin reopening from July 4, they will have to wear visors to cut customers’ hair.
The Government’s guidance admits it is “clearly” impossible to maintain social distancing when cutting someone’s hair – so that means visors are crucial.
A visor must be “a clear visor that covers the face and provides a barrier between the wearer and the client from respiratory droplets caused by sneezing, coughing or speaking”.
The guidance adds: “Visors must fit the user and be worn properly. It should cover the forehead, extend below the chin, and wrap around the side of the face.”
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Visors are more protective than just simple face masks or coverings – which are not recommended for use in hairdressers.
Hairdressers should go into isolation if they are told to do so by Test and Trace, even if they are wearing a visor.
Belle Cannan, co-founder of Salon Sloane in London, welcomed the news of slashing the two-metre social distancing rule in half.
Ms Cannan said: “It will help because we are a small salon and only have eight positions.
“Going from two metres to one metre makes it more of a viable business because you can accommodate more clients, and of course everyone is desperate to come in, especially in the first week to get their hair done.”
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What other measures will be implemented?
Screens between chairs – Hairdressers are advised to follow social distancing rules, which include keeping two metres apart from other staff members.
When this is not possibly, workers should aim for a one metre distance between people.
The guidance also states that hairdressers have been asked “to create a physical barrier between workstations, where this is practical”.
That does not mean a screen between hairdressers and their clients, but rather screens between chairs.
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Health screening upon arrival – The guidance says that COVID-19 related screening questions should be asked to customers before their appointment.
The questions are:
- Have you had the recent onset of a new continuous cough?
- Do you have a high temperature?
- Have you noticed a loss of, or change in, normal sense of smell and taste?
“If the client has any of these symptoms, however mild, they should stay at home and reschedule their appointment”, the guidance says.
You may have to queue outside – Hairdressers are told to use outside spaces for queueing where available and safe.
This could include, for example, some car parks or pavements.
People can wait in waiting areas as long as there is a sufficient level of social distancing, but if there is not, venues should “consider moving to a one-in-one-out policy”.
The guidance suggests contacting customers via phone, text or video call to let them know when they are ready to be seen.
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