Irish Hairdressers Federation to propose guidelines for early reopening of salons
"The recommendations will radically change how we do our business."
The Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) will proposed a set of guidelines in a bid to reopen salons earlier than anticipated.
The government's plan for reopening the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic proposed that salons and barber shops would reopen during Phase Four on July 20.
The IHF, however, have put together a proposal for the government that would allow them to open during Phase Three in a way that is "safe to both staff and customers."
Incoming IHF president Danielle Kennedy told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the document, due to be presented this week, includes 110 recommendations on how best to keep hairdresser staff and customers safe.
''There are 25,000 people employed in our sector and we want to ensure they can come back to work safely," she said.
"I have been talking to hundreds of hairdressers in the past few weeks and they can't wait to get back to work because they love their job and they love their customers.
"Our customers come in, they talk with the staff, find out the local news and they all go home feeling great. It's a vital local service, especially for the elderly.''
Kennedy added that the recommendations around social distancing will "radically change how we do our business," but added that the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitisation procedures will be the simplest part of the change.
“PPE is the easy bit, the main thing is operating the social distancing," she said. "We can easily adapt."
The proposed measures will include banning walk-ins, introducing screening questions regarding clients' travel habits, and ensuring a physical distance between clients.
This comes after the IHF announced support for a petition encouraging the public to support businesses within the hair, beauty, and spa industry receiving financial support from the government.
The petition said that the health and welfare of clients and staff "is our key priority," but added that the closures due to Covid-19 only added that the economic struggle that many salons in the industry are already facing.
"It is vital that inclusive economic recovery supports are put in place in order to help our members rebuild Ireland," they said.
The IHF will present their proposals to government this week.