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Hairdressers and barbers permitted to reopen from 29 June

The Cabinet today agreed to move the date forward after a recommendation from NPHET.
Jun 19th 2020, 6:35 PM 31,643 16

HAIRDRESSERS, BARBERS AND beauticians can reopen from 29 June, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced this evening.

Such premises were previously due to reopen on 20 July, when Phase Four of easing Covid-19 restrictions kicked in. However, they can now reopen from 29 June, the start of Phase Three.

The Cabinet today agreed to move the date forward after a recommendation from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced this evening that most facilities – including gyms, churches and cinemas – would reopen from Phase Three in an acceleration of the roadmap.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Holohan, and his team met yesterday to advise the government on what should happen in the next two phases of the roadmap for easing the lockdown.

NPHET’s recommendation came after the Irish Hairdressers Federation recently published guidelines which it says would allow hair salons to reopen safely in Phase Three.

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

The Irish Hairdressers Federation has welcomed the accelerated reopening of the sector.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of our staff and clients has been our top priority,” the group said in a statement.

“We immediately took the responsible decision to close in March earlier than we had to as it was the right thing to do.

“For the past three months we have been working tirelessly on preparing our guidelines for reopening the sector safely and responsibly, working with expert advisers and engaging with government.’’

The Minister for Business, Heather Humphreys, said the news of hairdressers reopening is “most welcome”.

Speaking to media, Humphreys wished to acknowledge the “huge amount of work they have put in to develop protocols and training for their members”. 

She said these health and safety protocols for staff and customers will ensure it is safe for people to have their hair cut and “whatever else you need to do”. 

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The vice president of the Irish Hairdressers Federation, Lisa Eccles, said all staff will wear face masks and maintain “very strict cleaning standards”.

“We cannot wait to get our clients back in and we’ll be on the phones next week booking people in,” Eccles said on RTÉ’s Six One news. 

She said hairdressers will be in a position to help with contact tracing as they will have the names and contact numbers of all clients. 

She said the extra few weeks of reopening before the initial date given will help save jobs in the industry. 

Responding to this evening’s announcement that the hairdressing sector is to re-open from 29 June, three weeks earlier than initially planned, trade union Unite – which represents hairdressers throughout Ireland – said that employers need to engage collectively with workers to develop an agreed Covid-19 safety protocol before salons re-open.

The union also called on employers to facilitate those employees who are unable to return to work at the end of the month due to underlying health conditions or lack of childcare provision.   

- With reporting by Orla Dwyer

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