Beauty salons, barbershops allowed on June 7, but only haircuts allowed – DTI

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — You will soon be able to get your long-overdue haircut as salons and barbershops reopen this Sunday, but hair dyes and other treatments may have to wait a bit longer.

The task force leading the country’s coronavirus pandemic response has approved the reopening of salons and barbershops at 30-percent capacity in areas under general community quarantine beginning June 7, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez confirmed Saturday.

They may increase their operations to 50 percent of capacity after two weeks, Harry Roque, Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Diseases spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, in areas under modified GCQ, the lowest form of quarantine, salons and barbershops could let half of their workforce report to work from June 7. After three weeks later they could start operating at full capacity, Roque added.

Metro Manila, and cities of Cebu and Mandaue will transition to GCQ on June 1 to June 15 after two months of enhanced community quarantine, a more stringent form of restriction.

The rest of Central Visayas and the regions of Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Calabarzon, the province of Pangasinan and cities of Zamboanga and Davao will also be under GCQ, while the rest of the country will be under modified GCQ, the lowest form of quarantine.

A week before the announcement, authorities checked the readiness of establishments to implement health protocols to protect clients and staff once they reopen under less stringent rules.

Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said Tuesday that barbers and stylists will be strictly limited to haircuts only, with hair-coloring and other treatments still on hold. Waxing, shaving, eyelash extensions, as well as manicure and pedicure services also remain banned for now.

"What we want sana is for the barbershops and salons to practice 'yung ating health protocols, ma-practice nila 'yung workers nila inside and the customers para everybody will get accustomed to these new protocols para po kapag eventually we are able to expand the allowable services, alam na po nila pare-pareho kung ano ang gagawin," Castelo said during the government's Laging Handa briefing.

[Translation: What we want is for barbershops and salons to practice our health protocols, practice their workers as well as customers so that everybody will get accustomed to the new protocols. Eventually, when we are able to expand the allowable services, they will all know what to do.]

On Friday, Lopez noted that salons and barbershops appear to be more "advanced" in their safety preparations, with some establishments proposed full protective gear for hair stylists to limit contact.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) drew up comprehensive guidelines that these establishments have to follow, a copy of which was posted on its Facebook page.

Contactless appointments and payments are encouraged. DTI said personnel could set aside trays where customers could drop their payment.

Companions are not allowed inside the premises unless "absolutely necessary."

These businesses have to enforce the wearing of face masks, follow the one-meter physical distance rule, sanitize their work stations and tools before and after each haircut or other personal care service, place disinfection mats in entrances, put visible floor markers, cover pieces of furniture with plastic and use disposable reading materials and magazines.

Employees must also be free of COVID-19 symptoms and have no exposure to patients with the viral disease being allowed to come to work.

They are prohibited from wearing jewelry, observe proper waste disposal and wear personal protective equipment.

CNN Philippines' Melissa Luz Lopez contributed to this report.