Hairdressers and barbers given the all clear to reopen under level 2

Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 May 2020, 6:42PM
Julie Evans. Photo / Supplied

Hairdressers and barbers given the all clear to reopen under level 2

Newstalk ZB / NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Thu, 7 May 2020, 6:42PM

The time is nearly hair for you to head along to your local hairdresser or barber and finally get that long-awaited tidy up.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has given the green light to reopen but only after the country made the move to alert level 2.

However, your local would not look the same as the last time you were able to get a trim more than a month ago before the lockdown began.

Staff would be forced to wear appropriate protective equipment, maintain good hygiene practices and minimise contact as much as possible.

A robust contact tracing system would also be implemented to ensure people could be contacted should they need to be.

Specific guidance was being developed by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment and WorkSafe.

All measures would be put in place to mitigate the risk towards staff and clients, Ardern said this afternoon.

"This is an area where we have given specific advice because it is virtually impossible to do this job without being in very close proximity to your clients and to having a large number of clients in any single day," she said.

"For hairdressers and beauticians, it means wearing appropriate PPE because of the close proximity [to] customers throughout the day, because we want to protect you and your clients."

New Zealand Association of Registered Hairdressers chair Niq James said the industry was excited about the prospect of heading back to work but he wanted to remind the public to be patient.

Hairdressers and barbers were preparing to be inundated with customers following the move to level 2 but restrictions might mean businesses could only fit in a limited number of people each day.

And they did not want salons to end up like fast food outlets which had people breaking level 3 restrictions as soon as they opened.

"We know that there's going to be a backlog of people to do but there's might only be a certain amount of people that we can," James said.

"We're doing everything we possibly can to get back to work ... but we're asking people to please bear with us and not put extra pressure on an already pressurized business.

"All we want to do is make people look good and feel good again and get some kind of normality."

Earlier today, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced one new Covid-19 case which was linked to the Matamata cluster.

The Waikato DHB was calling for anyone in the area to seek advice if they want to be tested, he said.

The total number of confirmed and probable Covid-19 cases was 1489, and 1332 people - 89 per cent - had recovered.

Malls, cafes, bars, barbers and schools can open under alert level 2, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Kiwis can expand their bubbles to include friends and family and travel "safely" around the country, Ardern said.

Two people remained in hospital and the death toll from Covid-19 in New Zealand remained at 21.

Testing was higher than 7000 yesterday for the first time and Bloomfield said it was a good sign as DHBs were getting ready for surveillance testing.

He said a review had been completed into the use of masks by the public, and there were risks and benefits.

Meanwhile, hairdressers and barbers up and down the country were sharpening their scissors in preparation for an influx of customers after the lockdown.

They could be the next hottest thing in town after supermarkets and fast food outlets were all inundated at the start of levels 4 and 3 respectively.

Miss Fox salon in Wellington had received a flood of frantic messages from clients with patchy lockdown DIY cuts and dyes.

A lot of blonde women had tried to patch up their regrowth and had turned their hair orange at the roots and white blonde at the tips, co-owner Loren Svensek said.

"It's fun hearing about those stories but obviously it will be a little more difficult going back into it, but we're excited to get into it. The more colour corrections the better."

The salon already had triple the number of bookings compared to usual scheduled for the first week they open and she said it will be even busier than Christmas.

New Zealand supermarkets were also reporting a 140 per cent jump in hair dye and hair clipper sales, RNZ reported this week.