THE Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) is calling for salon workers to be permitted to return to work sooner than is currently outlined.
Under the Government’s current roadmap, hairdressers can reopen from July 20 at the start of phase four but the IHF says it believes salons could safely and feasibly reopen in stage three, which is set to commence on June 29.
The Irish Hairdressers Federation incoming president, Danielle Kennedy, said the industry is in a position to open sooner.
“We’re confident that we can reopen safely, but reopen safely in phase three,” she said.
“Salons are already very sanitary environments.
"We already are very well equipped to take that level of hygiene and those hygiene standards just up to the next level,” she continued.
The IHF, which represents over 400 salon owners across the country, is due to present comprehensive recommendations to the Government this week in a bid to reopen sooner.
Calls for salons to be reopened sooner have been met with mixed reactions.
In Cork, salon owner Amy Michelle of Amy Michelle hairdressing based at the top of High Street said she was “on the fence” about whether or not salons should reopen sooner than July 20.
“I’m sitting on the fence.
"Originally it was phase five we were permitted to reopen and then it was brought forward to stage four.
"I think in the interests of safety if the Government have said stage four then we should leave it at that.
"However, that being said I completely understand salons want to get back up and running.
"I’m exactly the same. I’m eager to see my staff return to work and see customers again and if we were given the go-ahead to reopen in the morning my salon is ready,” she said.
Amy says she has been busy over the past few weeks making plans on how she can safely reopen her salon.
She has purchased Perspex screens, disposable gowns, gloves and even cups.
Customers will also be kept at a safe distance from each other, occupying every second seat.
“There’s no doubt that salons will be a different place when we reopen but we have to do whatever it takes to ensure staff and customers are kept safe,” she said.
One business advocating for sooner reopening is CHAIR, based on George's Quay. On social media, the salon stated that it is in support of the IHF’s petition to reopen sooner.
The salon has stated that staff will work in shifts from 8am-5pm and 3pm-10pm to accommodate customers in a safe way.
They also stated that hygiene practices will be ramped up even more so than normal and that social distancing will be a priority.