This week’s announcement on the country’s movement control order (MCO) came with good and bad news. Although the MCO will be extending another 2 weeks (predictably), the government will be allowing several businesses to reopen in stages.
Judging from the many polls on social media, many citizens have been dying for a hair cut after being cooped up for a month. However, the reopening of hair salons and barbershops may not be the best decision.
The Public Health Malaysia took to Facebook today (Saturday, 11th April) to suggest that preventive measures will need to be taken by both parties (customers and operators) to ensure that it doesn’t result in new Covid-19 clusters. Otherwise, the previous weeks of MCO would be for naught.
The risk factor in the barber shop is pretty high because:
- Meeting distance between customers and hair scissors
- Long period of time > 15 minutes
- Narrow shop space with limited ventilation
As such, the Public Health Malaysia has suggested 3 major preventive steps to be monitored by the authorities:
1. Hair Scissors
- Making sure sure no one has any symptoms of fever, flu cough
- Wearing a face mask
- Washing hands before and after touching customers
- Maintain cleanliness and sanitation premise
- No vape and smoking
- Need to do daily cleaning / daily disinfection
- Have a good ventilation space
- Keep social distance-1 meters
- Control the customer’s entry
- Waiting room outside with social distance > 1 meters between 1 others
- The hair that has been scissors needs to be cleaned
- Prohibition of vape and cigarettes
- Need to be filtered
- Using face cover
- Washing hands before going in and sitting
- Keep social distance
To add on, perhaps hair salons and barbershops should only limit their customers on appointment basis. That way, these businesses can control the amount of people going in and out of the venue.
In addition to haircut service, here are 8 other sectors allowed to reopen during the next phase of MCO.
Source: Public Health Malaysia.