Barbers plead for permission to open for business


Barbers holding placards expressing their wish to be allowed to operate during the movement control order period.

BARBERSHOP operators who are now suffering after not being allowed to operate, have appealed to the government to provide them with an exemption during the enforcement of the current movement control order (MCO).

Penang Hairdressers Association treasurer V. Tharmararaj said that barbershop operators only had the opportunity to operate for six months since June 10 last year before being ordered to close again.

He said industry players would not mind the government choosing to tighten the standard operating procedures (SOP) for hair salons, as long as they were allowed to operate as soon as possible.

“I feel the SOP at hair salons are among the tightest and thus far I have yet to hear of any cluster from hair salons. We only had the opportunity to recover after being badly affected by the first MCO before being shut down again.

“There are almost 60 hair salons under this association and all of them are from the B40 group. We have been receiving appeals of help from our members as they can’t afford to buy food for their families, ” he said.

Tharmararaj said their daily revenue had declined by as much as 50%.

The operation ban had made it worse, he said, adding that the association did not encourage its members to take bookings at customers’ homes as a precaution to curb the spread of Covid-19.

“As a result, many have changed jobs. Some are selling nasi lemak, becoming cooks and temporary factory workers. Therefore, we really hope that the government will reconsider allowing us to operate, ” he said.

If the situation were to remain, he said many hair salons throughout the country would be forced to close down. — Bernama

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