‘We need a clearer picture’


Abiding by the SOP: Charles working on a customer’s hair in her salon at PJ Palms Sports Centre. The hairstylist said she entertains one fully vaccinated customer at a time.

PETALING JAYA: Beauty industry operators will wait for clearer standard operating procedures (SOP) to be announced by the authorities before reopening or providing full service to their customers.

The smaller beauty and hair salon operators, however, are excited to resume their businesses or expand their services.

Beautician Irene Yong, 56, is looking forward to reopening her beauty salon today. She said she will only offer facials to fully vaccinated customers and not entertain walk-ins at her salon here.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced that additional relaxations for barbershops, hair salons and beauty salons will be permitted in states in phases two and three of the National Recovery Plan.

Yong managed to keep her overheads low to withstand months of business closure because she rented an older shoplot which is more affordable. She has also bought some Covid-19 home test kits for self-testing purposes.

“The company I source beauty products from promised to offer us discounted deals. This will enable me to provide affordable rates for my customers.

“Some of my products are over three months old and would need to be discarded,” she added.

She also said that some 80% of the beauticians she knows have terminated their businesses because they could not afford their rental and staff salaries when they stopped operations due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hairstylist Jasmine Charles, 55, who operates a salon here, said she will only provide hair service to one customer at a time.

As uncomfortable as it is, she will make sure that she is double-masked and also wear a face shield and gloves.

“I’m very strict with the SOP for the safety of both my customer and myself.

“I will not allow more than one customer into my shop unless they come from the same family. After they leave, I will sanitise the place thoroughly.

“I will ask my customers to show me their vaccination details and will only accept those who are fully vaccinated. I also don’t intend to take new clients unless I am very certain of their vaccination status and background,” she added.

A large beauty salon operator who declined to be named, said she is unclear about the SOP.

“My beauty salon offers everything from haircuts to manicure services. However, I will only do haircuts because I want to wait for a clearer SOP.

“What do the authorities mean by operating with 60% workforce? Is it 60% of my total manpower or 60% of the staff for the day?

“In June last year, there was a ruling to use disposable towels, but no one followed this ruling because it was expensive. What is the ruling this time around?” she asked.

“Even the beauty associations don’t know what is allowed now that we can reopen.

“I hope for clarity on these matters,” she added.

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