Salons may reopen soon, but health measures must be in place

Ralf Rivas

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Salons may reopen soon, but health measures must be in place
Barbershop and salon employees show that they can safely cut hair by wearing protective wear. The government, however, is still assessing the risks.

MANILA, Philippines – The government may allow barbershops and salons to reopen sooner than planned, provided that they are able to implement strict health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and National Task Force Against COVID-19 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr said they were keen on recommending an extra set of special guidelines for salons for a possible early reopening.

Galvez said an accreditation or audit system would have to be coordinated with the Department of Trade and Industry, health and safety officials of local government units, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

According to government guidelines, salons can only open in areas under general community quarantine status. (READ: Spas, salons allowed under GCQ, but not libraries)

Galvez and Lopez inspected establishments on Sunday, May 24, to check whether these could  minimize contact between barbers and customers.

“The Inter-Agency Task Force recognizes that salons and barbershops employ over 400,000 people. While we want for them to reopen in the general community quarantine, we also need to take into consideration the pressing concern that this industry, which may cause further transmission, should institute strict measures to prevent such risks of passing infection,” Lopez said.

Photo courtesy of DTI

Barbershops and salons that Lopez and Galvez were able to inspect had employees wore face masks, goggles, and suits. Counters also had plastic sheets to shield cashiers from airborne particles.

“We saw that these establishments even went further and innovated to ensure the protection of their clients and workers. Based on what we will see in the country’s health progress, if deaths and transmissions continue to go down, maybe we can allow some more to open up,” Galvez said.

In a press briefing on Monday, May 25, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the reopening of salons was still being deliberated. –

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Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.