The federation which represents thousands of hairdressers, barbers and beauticians will today publish 100 new measures it plans to introduce to allow salons reopen safely in the 'Phase 3' easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
They include the advance screening of customers, extensive use of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for both stylists and clients, full sanitation of workstations after each customer has left and the logging of their phone numbers for contact tracing purposes.
The Irish Hairdressers' Federation (IHF) said it had developed the guidelines following extensive consultation with the HSE and the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) and have warned that the experience of getting your hair done from June 28 onwards will “change dramatically” as a result.
The guidelines were also drawn up in consultation with five leading trade associations in the hair and beauty sector and will be presented to the government this week.
Magazines and other reading material will also be banned from salons to reduce the possible spread of the virus.
In addition, each workplace will appoint at least one team leader charged with ensuring that Covid-19 measures are strictly adhered to in their place of work.
Each salon will also be required to display posters with advice on the Covid-19 measures in visible locations throughout the premises to ensure that customers are also adhering to what is required of them.
Employees must wash their hands thoroughly before and after each customer and use hand sanitiser before attending to clients.
The guidelines state that while gloves are generally not required for infection prevention and control purposes, when they are used they must not be considered a substitute for hand hygiene and hands must be thoroughly cleaned whenever gloves are removed.
IHF President Danielle Kennedy said the 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 3 rather than Phase 4 (August 10).
“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 and safety experts, microbiology experts the HSE, the HSA and the WHO (World Health Organisation) in preparing the document,” Ms Kennedy said.
She said the guidelines also contained 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. If we wait any longer to reopen, hundreds of small businesses will go bust and thousands of people will lose their jobs,” Ms Kennedy said.