On the 17th of June we received news that the country was moving to Advanced Level 3 of the Lockdown. As the changes which come with Advanced Level 3 were read out, a collective sigh of relief was emitted by the nation. Rightfully so, because we have been advised that we can once again visit restaurants, cinemas and even attend work conferences, but the main cause for excitement is the fact that this signalled the opening up of operations for all formal and informal salons for hair, face, nails, body treatments and tattooing.
This means that we can all get the much needed hair treatments and haircuts as well as the other treatments which had come to an abrupt end when the nation went under lockdown on 27 March 2020.
Now before you rush for the nearest salon, beauty spa, barbershop, or tattoo salon it is important to note that the opening up of operations comes with strict regulations which were published through a gazette signed by the Minister of Small Business Development on the 19th of June 2020.
Some of the new regulations mean that the manner in which your beauty salon operated pre-lockdown, will be a thing of the past as has been the case with all businesses post lockdown. To avoid disappointments and to ensure healthy interactions with all involved, it is important that you familiarise yourself with these regulations.
In order for the beauty care salons to keep their doors open, the following will need to be complied with:
- Showing up unannounced at the salon with the hope of being squeezed in will lead to disappointment, as all salons are required to implement booking of appointments in order to avoid long ques and waiting periods and to ensure social distancing. This will enable the salon owner to keep a register of all customers who visit as required by law.
- Both patrons and staff of the salon will be prohibited from entering the premises and from working if they have any flu-like symptoms and the salon will need to be cleansed.
- If you show up without a mask you will be refused entry. You will be required to keep your mask on at all times while in the salon.
- The premises need to be well ventilated, so doors and windows need to be kept open.
- The salon staff will need to regularly wash their hands through the provision of hand-washing stations for the staff.
- As much as you will be required to sanitise your hands when entering and before leaving the premises, the staff will also be required to regularly sanitise their hands before and after serving clients and after handling cash. In fact, salons are encouraged to implement contactless payment where possible.
- Staff will also be required to regularly clean and disinfect all surfaces after each customer and at the end of the day. They will also be required to wipe down bottles with products with 70% alcohol based sanitisers at the start and end of the day, as well as after serving each customer.
- Once in, you will be required to comply with social distancing requirements of 1.5 meters at all times. The staff will have to explain the social guidelines to all customers. You will find the workstations at the premises re-arranged in order to ensure the social distancing requirements. This may mean that salons will be limited in regard to the number of people they can serve at any given time. Workstations will either be separated or have cleanable partitions. The 1.5 meters distance will need to be marked throughout the salon.
- The salon will not be allowed to have additional customers present if the 1.5meter distance cannot be maintained. Social distancing requirements mean that the salon will be limited in the number of clients it can serve and the days of having someone visit you, as you get your beauty treatment, are a thing of the past.
- As much as you will be required to wear a mask, the staff will also have to wear masks and visors. All the PPE worn by the staff, including aprons, need to be changed or cleaned after serving each customer.
- Salons will be required to use fresh and clean towels for each customer.
- If your favourite staff member is older than 60 years or has comorbidities, they will be discouraged from working, unless necessary additional measures are taken to protect them.
- You will no longer be offered complementary food and beverages as part of the beauty treatment and neither will you be permitted to consume your own on the premises.
- Time limits will be set for each treatment in order to minimise unnecessary interactions with customers so you may not be able to spend the whole day at your favourite salon catching up on the latest news and events. This means that your favourite hairdresser may be less chatty than usual.
For more information on the regulations you can access the gazette on: https://gcs.thesouthafrican.com/2020/06/70ed9215-gazzette.pdf
Please ensure that you stay safe and healthy as you go for your beauty or health treatment remembering at all times that we are all responsible for our health as well as for those around us.