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Irish Hairdressers Federation publishes guidelines it says will allow salons to open later this month

The Taoiseach said on Friday that hairdressers wouldn’t be able to open until 20 July at the earliest.

Image: Shutterstock/t.max

THE IRISH HAIRDRESSERS Federation (IHF) has today published guidelines which it says will allow hair salons to reopen safely in Phase Three, which is due to start in three weeks’ time. 

There are over 100 specific recommendations within the document to safeguard staff and customers.

IHF president Danielle Kennedy said that “if we wait any longer to re-open, hundreds of small businesses will go bust and thousands of people will lose their jobs”. 

On Friday, the government unveiled the accelerated roadmap for re-opening the country. Under this plan, hairdressers are to remain shut until 20 July. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said that hairdressers and barbers will have to remain shut until at least that date as their work involves “almost face-to face contact” which makes it a “high-risk engagement”.

However, the IHF said today its guidelines, developed in conjunction with the HSE and Health and Safety Authority (HSA), would allow them to re-open on 29 June.

Among its recommendations are the extensive use of PPE for stylists and customers, Covid-19 training for all staff, screening of customers when taking bookings, full sanitisation of workstations after each customer and salon visits and customer phone numbers recorded for contact tracing.

The guidance says: “Employees must wash their hands thoroughly before and after each customer and use hand sanitiser before attending to clients. 

Employees should demonstrate sanitisation of hands in front of client before commencing services or when taking a break and restarting a client during longer treatments.

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The guideline also sets out all the steps that should be taken on the “client journey” from before they visit to after they leave.

Kennedy said: “Our guidelines go above and beyond the Government’s advice on what to do, and will enable hairdressers and barber shops to reopen safely in Phase Three rather than Phase Four. We have spent the past six weeks working with experts, the HSA, and all parties in the hair and beauty sector to develop these guidelines.

“We have taken the advice of health & safety experts, microbiology experts the HSE, the HSA and the WHO in preparing the document.

This is an extremely safe and cautious set of guidelines. There are in-depth procedures on staff training, sanitisation, hand hygiene, social distancing, screening of clients and use of PPE. There are 25,000 people employed in our sector and we want to ensure they can come back to work safely.
The IHF is one of two representative bodies in the sector in Ireland. Businesses are also represented by the Hairdressing Council of Ireland. 

About the author:

Sean Murray

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