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Please Confirm to Reopen Hair Salons and Barbers in Victoria on 19th October 2020

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It's time to reopen Melbourne Hair Salon's and Barbers on 19th October 2020.

We are sitting in limbo waiting for the go ahead to reopen and we haven't been given a confirmation date. An announcement will be made on 18th October 2020 but this gives Hair Salons and Barbers no time to book in 6 weeks worth of bookings, order stock, make our salons COVID safe, organise staff rosters and get our businesses ready for reopening. 

The date of 19th October is still uncertain and dependant on numbers and modelling. We cannot stay closed any longer and we cannot live with this uncertainty for our own mental health and for those of our clients. Please stop dangling the carrot to only take it away from us.

Enough is enough. People need us and our businesses need to reopen before more Hair Salons and Barber Shops close down.

How you look is a major factor in how you feel and in a time where people's emotions are low, looking in the mirror and feeling good can help abundantly. 

Not only is this a mental health issue but a physical issues with leaving hair unattended to this long. Brushing the hair becomes more difficult and scalp issues and hair loss issues go unnoticed. Any untreated hair and scalp issues can become major health issues.

Colouring hair after 12 weeks becomes a challenge for hairdressers and if not done correctly can cause burning and hair loss.

There is also the major risk of people colouring and cutting their own hair at home causing skin burning, hair breakage, clipper burn, skin cuts and blindness if not done correctly. 

Our industry is sizeable employer of Apprentices and young people and by reopening, we can start employing staff quicker. With the Federal Incentives, most salons will be able to survive and thrive and help get the economy kick started and reduce unemployment.

Sole traders make up a large portion of our industry and are suffering at the moment due to not being qualified to receive Round 3 of the Government Support Grants. This leaves them unable to pay bills and living on the poverty line with the reduced JobKeeper payments. 

Due to the personal nature of our industry, we cannot work from home, cannot perform our work online and cannot offer a take away service as other shut down industries can. The only way we can make an income for our businesses during the forced shutdown is to sell our products online. We are left to compete price wise with larger Chemist chain stores and building a e-commerce store can be time consuming, expensive and hard for those with little or no online experience. Those of us that have the knowledge to get an e-commerce site up and running, still make only about 10% of our regular sales though this avenue.

The contamination rate of hairdressers and barbers world wide for COVID 19 is minimal if masks are worn by both hairdressers and clients, people numbers are kept low within the salon space, social distancing is practiced and sanitising practices follow COVID safe recommendations. In short, Hair Salons and Barbers are low risk compared to other industries that are currently open. We are safer than the Supermarket for social distancing, we already take contact details from our clients and our hygiene practices have always been intense due to the nature of our jobs. 

By continuing to keep Hair Salons and Barbers closed, creates more time in the salon chair for clients on reopening and a lot more expensive service. 

Time is ticking for us and most Hair salons and barbers have at least 6 weeks worth of bookings waiting to be serviced straight up. Getting everyone in and serviced will be a mammoth task but then add in the fact that it is 11 weeks until Christmas and we will then be topped with the Christmas rush as well. Hairdressers and Barbers are already worried about the physical impact that the first weeks of reopen will have on our bodies and minds, so every extra week we are closed means more clients added to our waitlists and more stress to us.

We are asking that all Melbourne and Regional Victorian Hair Salons and Barbers be allowed to reopen on 19th October 2020 in Victoria with a full COVID safe plan following the basic principals below:

- Number of people in the salon space be kept to 1 person per 4 square meters including staff

- Masks to be worn at all times by client, hairdresser and all staff.

- Only the clients being serviced to be allowed into the salon space unless the client is a minor, then one adult may be present with them

- Each station, chair, basin and area be sanitised after every client.

- Every towel, wrap, comb, scissors and tools used on the client will be sanitised after every service

- Each staff member will sanitise their hands between client to client contact

- The EFTPOS machine to be sanitised after every client

- The front desk, door handles, toilet and all public areas to be sanitised daily.

- Ever client's details to be taken before an appointment can occur including name and phone number for contract tracing.

- And follow all other State Regulations and direction from the CHO regarding keeping the salon COVID Safe.

- We also request that a visit to the Hair Salon or Barber be exempt from the 5km rule as your regular Hairstylist and Barber are just as important as your regular Doctor or Physiotherapist and your hair journey cannot just be looked after anyone in your local area. The majority of clients pick their Hairdresser or Barber for their skill over locality. 

This time being forced closed is too long. The majority of people cannot go this long without their hair being tended to. We need to be allowed to reopen on 19th October 2020 for the physical and mental health of the public.

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