Lockdown level 3: Joy for beauty business
Pretoria - Taking the risk of doing hair and nail treatments at home has been the way of life for many in the personal beauty industry who have welcomed news that they may legally restart in terms of changes in level 3 lockdown regulations.
Since the lockdown started nearly three months ago many clients have begged their hairdressers and nail technicians for help and they, in turn, have often agreed to offer services illegally just to put food on the table for their families.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday changes which allow hairdressers, beauticians and spas to reopen along with restaurants for sit-down meals, cinemas, theatres, casinos and hotels.
Initially, government felt the risk of coronavirus transmission with personal services was too high, and had set personal care services down to reopen in level 1.
Changes were gazetted on Friday so come into effect immediately. They include strict hygiene with staff wearing protective masks and gloves. Clients are encouraged to pre-book and only those being treated are allowed in the salon.
There must be no unnecessary massages at the basin and time limits for each treatment are advised to minimise unnecessary interactions.
Pretoria hairstylists have welcomed the decision as they said they didn’t know how much longer they could continue breaking lockdown rules without being caught.
One beauty shop owner in the city centre said she cashed out her savings to buy a second-hand car to make “house calls” as the lockdown was extended beyond the initial period.
“My shop’s been closed since the lockdown started, but the rent for the past two months is standing at R27000 even though I haven’t been making money,” the single mother said.
The idea to start doing “house calls” came after lockdown was extended.
“I had to forget about the coronavirus and think about money to feed us. We aren’t all getting a relief funds or grants from the government, so it’s about time they let us go back to work, especially considering children are going back to school now,” said another woman in the industry.
Ramaphosa said the decision to ease restrictions on certain economic activities followed discussions with industry representatives on stringent health and safety protocols, and after advice from scientists and consultation with premiers.
“These activities include restaurants for ‘sit-down’ meals, accredited and licensed accommodation, with the exception of home-sharing accommodation like Airbnb, conferences and meetings for business purposes, and all in line with restrictions which still exist for public gatherings.
“Similarly cinemas and theatres may open in line with social-distancing restrictions, and non-contact sports such as golf, tennis, cricket will be allowed.”
Sorbet, which owns beauty salons across the country, said it would reopen as soon as allowed,with strict hygiene standards in place.
Restaurant Association of SA chief executive Wendy Alberts said the industry was delighted with the news.
“We’re having huge celebrations, and this is certainly going to rebuild the industry that’s been hard hit by this lockdown,” she said.