Europe

Still no date set for reopening of hairdressers

The government is doing ‘everything they can’ to help hairdressers get back to work, the Health Secretary has said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed earlier this week that all non-essential retailers will be allowed to resume business from June 15 as more lockdown measures are relaxed. However, appearing on ITV’s This Morning, Matt Hancock said he could not say whether it would be safe for hairdressers to also reopen from the same date.

He continued: ‘I would love to be able to do that and the way to do that is to ensure that, when it is safe to do so, hairdressing is brought back in a way that itself is safe.

‘We are working on what it would look like to have the protective equipment in place. Hairdressing, like so many industries, we’re doing everything we can to support them through what is inevitably an incredibly difficult time.’

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The Health Secretary noted that hairdressers ‘do have to be in close contact with people’ to do their job, adding that, while making their work safe would be difficult, it is not an ‘insurmountable challenge’.

Asked again whether June 15 could even be a realistic date for hairdressers, he said: ‘I can’t commit to doing it on that timetable but I can commit to working with the hairdressing industry, I already am, and talking to some of their representatives who are making this case and seeing how we could go about it.

‘I’m sure everybody understands that it has got to be done in a way that is safe to do.’

Hancock also revealed that his own hair had been cut by his wife and described her handiwork as a ‘fantastic job’.

Many hairdressers across England have said this week they are ready to reopen to customers – and even argued that the government is taking too long to grant them permission.

The Hair and Barber Council, which represents 11,000 salons, estimated that most their members will be ready to resume business by mid-June, having closed their shutters on March 23.

CEO Keith Conniford told Radio 1 Newsbeat: I have spoken to a number of practitioners I know within barbering and hairdressing and resoundingly they said yes.’

Some places have also begun installing clear curtains between customers and rolling out new policies that ban food and drink or see only one person touch each individuals hair.

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