Beauty service workers ask gov’t to reopen salons, barbershops under GCQ

May 29, 2020 - 9:01 PM
Salon customer
Female customer having her hair done in a salon in this undated photo pre-lockdown. (Philstar/Era Christ R. Baylon)

Workers in the local beauty service industry recently appealed to the government to allow salons and barbershops to operate once Metro Manila and other regions would shift to general community quarantine on the first day of June.

In an online petition launched through the website, some employees under the industry informed the public that they have already prepared health and safety protocols in their respective workplaces.

“We have already disinfected our salons, prepared our own personal protective gears, and laid out protocols to keep employees and clients protected,” part of the petition’s statement reads.

The petitioners include workers in salons and barbershops such as hairdressers, nail technicians, junior stylists, salon managers, and beauty consultants, among others.

They added that they have already prepared for the shops’ possible opening when the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in its guidelines released April 28 included them in the opening under GCQ.

However, on May 13, the government retracted and removed them from the list of businesses allowed to operate in that quarantine level for further review.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque reasoned that it was challenging to maintain a safe physical distance between the salon worker and the customer in such settings.

The petitioners said that this has prompted workers to resort to “underground service providers” instead.

“Instead of being able to give services in a safe environment, which could easily monitor contact tracing as well, people are driven to underground service providers. Keeping salons closed endangers us and clients even more,” they said.

“We hope that the opening of salons and barbershops, especially those with sanitation protocols and guidelines in place, will be reconsidered,” the petitioners added.

The petition has gained more than 6,000 digital signatures as of this writing since it was launched two weeks ago.

Actress-singer Nikki Valdez also shared the petition on her Twitter account to show support.

Under IATF’s latest guidelines, salons, barbershops and personal care establishments are only allowed to open in areas under the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) with a maximum of 50% of the venue capacity.

Metro ManilaCagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Pangasinan, Albay, and Davao City will shift to GCQ from June 1 to 15.

Meanwhile, the rest of the regions across the country will shift to MGCQ, the lowest form of community quarantine.

Latest reports indicate that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) was reviewing the possibilities of opening salons and barbershops under GCQ.

The agency has already tested protocols to be strictly followed which include the following:

  • Installment of hand sanitizers and employing temperature checks in entrances
  • Limiting the entry of customers through queuing numbers
  • Employing non-contact payment through G-Cash and PayMaya
  • Regular disinfection of grooming tools
  • Disinfection of seats after every customer

DTI was reported to submit the proposed protocols to IATF.

DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez previously said he was hoping that the establishments can be allowed to operate before June 15.