About 25,000 people are employed in the hairdressing sector.
The IHF has compiled a list of 100 specific measures – developed after intense engagement with the HSE and the Health & Safety Authority – in the hopes that Ireland's hairdressers and barbers can open their doors in June rather than July.
As it stands, hair salons are set to remain closed until 20 July (Phase Four). These measures, the IHF hopes, will allow the reopening of salons on 29 June (Phase Three) instead.
According to RTÉ, among the main recommendations in the guidelines are:
- The extensive use of PPE for stylists and customers
- COVID-19 training for all staff
- Customer screenings when taking bookings
- Full sanitisation of workstations after each customer
- Salon visits and customer phone numbers will be recorded for contact tracing
- And no magazines or reading material to be provided at hairdressers or barbers
Countries where hair salons have reopened, such as Australia and Italy, are making stringent use of face masks and gloves as well as implementing strict limits on the number of people allowed in a salon at one time.
In Spain, some salons have erected plastic sheets between customers. No walk-ins are allowed and staff wear PPE while customers must wear masks.
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, incoming IHF President Danielle Kennedy said the IHF is recommending that salons only allow customers in by appointment and carry out pre-screening to see if clients have been abroad or ill recently.
She said that salons are well equipped and have good sanitisation procedures and it will be recommended that salons "take this up a notch".
She also mentioned how she is disappointed that the opening date for the sector has not been brought forward.
"Our guidelines go above and beyond the Government's advice on what to do, and will enable hairdressers and barbershops to reopen safely in Phase 3 rather than Phase 4," she said.
"This is an extremely safe and cautious set of guidelines. There are in-depth procedures on staff training, sanitisation, hand hygiene, social distancing, screening of clients and use of PPE," she said,
"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," she cautioned.
Main image by @theouai