A Push to Open Doors
On Saturday morning a presentation was made to the government by shopping mall/center owners concerning the reopening of businesses within their facilities.
They wanted to include in this presentation, a motivation for the hair and beauty industry for consideration as to how and when salons could reopen. As is often the case during difficult times, this was at very short notice. Apparently, the current thinking in government is that we would only be allowed to open in late June or July.
An online meeting was urgently arranged for as many people as could be contacted on a Friday evening for a 7 pm meeting. Some 300+ attendees joined the meeting offered a broad range of stakeholders from salon owners, salon groups, suppliers, manufactures, the bargaining council, SAAHSP and also Professional Beauty/Salon International.
As we all know, the big problem is that the sector involves touch, a major part of the transmission of the virus.
The presentation gave an overview of methods to maintain strict health and safety protocols for both the therapist/stylist and clients, protective gear, social distancing, etc.
Various additional suggestions were made by attendees for therapists protection, from visors to Perspex screens of the kind now seen in many supermarkets till areas. Additional training and SOPS were also a hot topic.
The opening up of any salons would, of course, be at the discretion of the owner and no staff member should be forced to work.
Also included was information on the size of the industry, from turnover to the number of employees within the sector and the economic contribution we make to GDP.
The attendees were asked to show if they were for or against. There were one or two people who were against, however, the overwhelming majority were in favour of some sort of relaxation of control in our sector.
Those who objected had major concerns for the health and safety of staff and clients and this is, of course, understandable, however, the majority felt that with the correct systems in place, the risk of infection could be managed.
If this presentation does not achieve the required result, hopefully, it will raise awareness of our sector within the government and what we do, both for people and the economy.