Hairdressers and barbers need certainty - and lead-in time necessary to prepare for reopening

Hairdressers and barbers need certainty about when they will be allowed to reopen, says the Fianna Fáil spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Deputy Robert Troy.

He said the mixed messages coming from government are unhelpful to an industry which needs to prepare for a very different approach to hairdressing than before Covid-19.

His calls come as it was reported that a decision to bring forward the reopening of barbers and hairdressers to June 29 is being worked towards.

The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) has said it will consider the matter over the next week and a half.Under the current roadmap hairdressers and barbers are to remain shut until July 20.

Deputy Troy said: “This is further evidence, if we needed it, that sector specific taskforces need to be established to help industries to reopen safely.

“No hairdresser or barber wants to put themselves, their staff or their customers in danger – they need time to prepare and to implement strict health and safety protocols.

“The Irish Hairdressers Federation (IHF) has published 100 guidelines that hairdressers and barbers can implement which would allow the safe reopening.

“However, if NPHET and the government only give the green light for reopening in the next 10 days, then hairdressers and barbers will have a week at most to implement all measures.

“There is going to be a massive demand on PPE in the industry and staff will need to be trained in Covid-19 – who is going to provide this?

“A taskforce would be able to provide clear guidance and help to the approximately 25,000 people employed in the sector.

“Hairdressers want to get back to businesses, customers are certainly crying out for them, but it has to be safe for all involved.

“The government have to stop with the mixed messages and give reassurance to the industry that there is a plan,” said Deputy Troy.