A CORK salon owner has slammed the Government for what she described as a “blatant disrespect” for those working in the hairdressing industry.
Hairstylists were forced to close from midnight on Wednesday last week under Level 5 restrictions.
Pamela Morrisey, who owns Sobe Brown hair salon on Morrison’s Quay, said she feels the Government is no longer behind them.
“We can no longer rely on the Government, it’s our clients that have our backs,” she said.
“That’s where the love is coming from. We have been receiving gifts and phone calls from people around the city wishing us well. There has been no love from the government.
“Instead, their attitudes towards the industry have been condescending and only serve to minimise the role we play. We saw from the last lockdown just how important services like this are to people’s mental health.
“However, as far as the Government is concerned it’s as if we are just here to make people pretty and are not important to society. I have lost all faith in the Irish Government.”
She emphasised that hair salons are not being recognised for their efforts to keep people safe.
“I am mortified at the way we are being treated after doing so much to keep our clients safe,” she said.
“What galls me is that you can fill a venue with 25 people, irrespective of its size. People can travel from anywhere in the country for a wedding as if coronavirus doesn’t exist under these circumstances. This is considered essential yet my employees who have car loans, mortgages, and children are not.
“We put in so much effort to stay safe, going as far as halving our team and only leaving in four clients at a time. Temperatures were checked and everything was sterilised to Nasa standards. The Government’s treatment of hairdressers and business owners has been condescending and mortifying.
"They have turned a blind eye to all the hard work that is being put in by hair salons. There was no thought put into how this is going to affect livelihoods.”
Ms Morrisey said she is confident her business will survive the setback. “We will survive this. We can only hope that others will too.”