You can have that badly needed haircut by next week.

Salons and barbershops are finally allowed to resume operations on June 7, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Saturday, May 20.

However, they have to abide by “the very strict health protocol” set by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. 

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Secretary Lopez said in a Viber message to members of the media: “Earlier opening was reconsidered in recognition of the very strict health protocol that was developed and to be adopted before they can be allowed to operate to prevent any risk of COVID-19 transmission, as well as the need to start bringing back the jobs of the estimated 400,000 workers in the industry working in over 35,000 shops.

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“There will be no need for accreditation to remove any bureaucracy in opening, but there will be operations audit to be done, and non-compliant shops will be closed down until they correct the deficiencies."

30% capacity for GCQ areas; 50% for MGCQ

The IATF  has allowed salons and barbershops to resume operations in a limited capacity.

In areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), beauty service shops will operate with a 30-percent capacity; in areas under Modified GCQ (MGCQ), a 50-percent capacity.

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Aside from Metro Manila, areas under GCQ beginning June 1 are Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3), Calabarzon (Region 4-A), the provinces of Pangasinan and Albay, and Davao City.

The rest of the country will be under MGCQ, a step closer to the so-called “new normal.”

Briefly, the trade secretary described what a 30-percent operation setup is: “Only one of three seats will be allowed first."

Health and safety protocols

Published as is, here are the guidelines issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

1. Posting of information at the entrance and other prominent or conspicuous areas about the following:

Mandatory wearing of face masks at all times;

—Social distancing protocols of the establishment;

—Regular sanitation schedule and procedures (a ten-minute interval for sanitation in between clients is required);

—Availability of alternative methods of payment, if applicable;

—Availability of alternative methods of scheduling appointments (online, text messaging system);

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—Client-personnel interaction protocols;

—Policy against the bringing of companions, unless absolutely necessary; and

—Enforcement measures for clients who refuse to comply with the protocols in a manner consistent with the law.

2. Requiring the placing of the following at the entrance:

—Floor mat or foot bath with disinfectant;

—Thermal scanner (for temperature reading);

—Alcohol that can be easily sprayed on the clients’ hands;

—Health checklist to be distributed to all clients;

—A system where the personal effects of clients, including bags, jackets, and gadgets, are disinfected and deposited in secured sanitary plastic bags;

—Face shields to be distributed to clients if they availed shampoo services;

3. Enforcement of the following protocols concerning equipment found in the workplace:

—Distancing of chairs to at least one meter apart on all sides;

—Visible floor markings for guidance of clients;

—Proper ventilation;

—Personal effects of personnel should be placed in plastic bags stored in an area inaccessible to clients;

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—Face masks readily available for sale, or otherwise, to clients;

—Sanitizing equipment and tools that are visible to clients;

—Sterilization of workstation before and after each service;

—Pieces of furniture that are made of porous materials must be covered in plastic for ease of sanitation; and

—Strict use of disposable-only menus, reading materials, and magazines.

4. Enforcement of the following protocols concerning employees in the workplace:

—No personnel with COVID-19 symptoms or with exposure to COVID-19 patients shall be allowed to work;

—No wearing of pieces of jewelry (rings, bracelets, watches, earrings, exposed body piercings);

—Observance of proper personal hygiene (clipped fingernails, observance of company-imposed personal sanitation);

—Mandatory wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE) including, but not limited to, face mask, face shield, eye glasses, gloves, hair caps;

—Mandatory wearing of closed shoes;

—Observance of the proper disposal of single-use supplies (cotton balls, popsicle sticks, tissue);

—Observance and enforcement of the client-personnel interaction protocols;

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—Mandatory declaration of health and whereabouts prior to every duty in case contact tracing becomes necessary; and

—Frequent handwashing/sanitizing.

5. Requiring the following procedures upon exit:

—No physical contact during payment;

—Personnel are provided with small trays for accepting cash; and

—Ensure that clients who prefer to use an alternative mode of payment are able to do so;

—Regular sanitation of high-contact areas and surfaces (pens used for filling out forms, door handles, common tables)

DTI, NTF Against COVID-19 conduct inspections

On Sunday, May 24,  Lopez conducted an inspection of the health and safety protocols of  some salons and barbershops in Metro Manila.

Lopez was accompanied by the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez and some members of the media.

In photos provided by DTI, salon workers can be seen wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), face mask, and gloves.

“We requested a demo, so that Secretary Galvez and I could see how they are able to implement additional health protocols,” Lopez said.

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Salon workers launch online petition

It is not clear if the DTI secretary reconsidered his decision not to reopen beauty shops after salon workers launched an online petition through Change.org.

Addressed to DTI, the petition read: “We have prepared to open our shops during GCQ, as the IATF included barbershops and salons in the list released last April 28 of establishments that allowed to operate.

“Immediately, we released and implemented new sanitation and guidelines.

“On May 13, we were removed from the list.”

The salon workers also said in their petition: “We have already disinfected our salons, prepared our own personal protective gears, and laid out protocols to keep employees and clients protected.”

Petitioners include hairdressers, nail technicians, junior stylists, salon managers, inventory clerks, and beauty consultants.

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

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At this writing, the petition has gained more than 8,300 digital signatures since its upload two weeks ago.

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This story originally appeared on reportr.

Minor edits have been made by the Female Network editors.

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