Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Going for a haircut in Chennai? don’t forget your Aadhaar Card.

Shut for two months, hair and beauty salons are now opening their shutters once again for the public, but looks like their struggle for survival is far from over.

SOP issued for establishments to help in contact tracing
The next time you go for a haircut or grooming in Tamil Nadu, remember your Aadhaar number and your mobile phone number. According to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued for salons, beauty parlours and spas, they must collect the name, address, mobile phone numbers and Aadhaar of their customers to help in contact tracing for COVID-19.
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The seven-page SOP for owners and workers of these establishments issued by the Commissioner of Revenue Administration to Commissioner of Greater Chennai Corporation and all District Collectors, hand sanitisers are to be provided near the entrance of beauty parlours and spas, if not, facilities to wash hands with soap and water. A senior officer said the details are collected as a precaution and would help in case someone in a salon tested positive.
“With details in hand, it would be easy for contact-tracing, which is taking a long time. We are taking various steps but public cooperation is essential.”
“To the extent possible” customers could be allowed for “service by appointment” to avoid crowding and to ensure physical distancing norms.
Only 50% of the seats are to be occupied at a time and markings for queues are necessary to ensure there is no crowding.
Air-conditioners or air coolers should not be used and all windows should remain open to ensure ventilation. Blades should not be reused and used blades and face packs should be disposed of safely. Headbands and towels once used for a customer should not be reused before washing.Napkins are to be provided to customers and used napkins are to be disposed of safely. Employees involved in the work have to wash their hands with soap and water before attending to customers. Workers must wear hand gloves and face masks.
Employees with cold, cough or fever have to approach a doctor for examination. “Under no circumstances should such employees be involved in work. Every beauty parlour and spa should ensure this procedure,” the SOP said.
Customers having cold or cough or fever should not be allowed.
The conditions laid down by the authorities were to be displayed prominently. The respective district administrations and local bodies have been directed to ensure compliance.
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Bengaluru: The Karnataka government recently announced that hair and beauty salons can operate as part of the relaxations in the fourth phase of the lockdown. It was a much-needed relief for not just the salon businesses, but also the people who had been waiting for that much needed haircut.
For salons that wish to operate, the government has put out 14 standard operating procedures (SOP) for the safety of workers and customers during this pandemic.
Here’s the copy of the order that lists the SOP to be followed by the salons:
Most Salons cannot afford to implement the SOPs
While safety is the primary concern, the plight of barbers to afford this level of safety is another ballgame altogether.
Most salons in the city have not just lost businesses in the last two months, but have also been paying rent, salaries water and electricity bills during this period, and are now left broke and helpless.
The SOPs demand that customers should be checked for fever, which could be possible through a thermal scanner that costs over Rs 2,500. Not just that, disposable sheets per customer, gloves, sanitisation, etc., are all extra costs that the salons now have to incur. This would mean the helpless lot who are out of business and broke need to shell out anywhere between Rs 10,000-15,000 to restart their business.
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The missing case of the government-assured Rs 5,000
Few days ago, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa announced that all hair and beauty salons would be given Rs 5,000 as financial aid to support them due to the loss incurred during lockdown. 
While most owners have not received the said amount, many don’t know the process to be followed.
The plight of your local barber
“We have suffered losses in lakhs and it has been difficult times for us – to pay rent for the shop, feed family. The government’s promised aid hasn’t reached us and we now have been asked to spend on protective equipment for which where will we bring the money from? The number of customers visiting are also much lesser now,” Nagesh, who runs a small salon in Bengaluru, said.
While safety is the primary concern in these times, the government needs to work a way around to help these small salons get back on their feet. With lowered business and piling costs, it’s getting harder and harder for them to survive.
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