GOVERNMENT REVOKES DECISION TO ALLOW SALONS & BARBER SHOPS TO OPERATE DURING MCO, FOLLOWING THE ADVICE FROM HEALTH EXPERTS, NGOS AND THE PUBLIC; AS MITI’S WEBSITE CRASHES DUE TO APPLICATION OVERLOAD

Published by Lavinesh @ 13/04/2020

Datin Winnie Loo, Honorary President and Advisor to Malaysian Hairdressing Association

Prime Minister YAB Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin has recently announced the re-opening of selected business sectors, including hair salons, during the MCO. The aforementioned has led many hair salon business owners to believe that this action is jeopardizing the safety of their fellow staff members and customers during this critical period. In a survey conducted by the Malaysian Hairdressing Association (MHA, led by Michael Poh, Malaysia’s Renowned Celebrity Hair and Image Consultant), over 91% of hairdressers oppose the idea of hair salons to resume business throughout the MCO. In accordance with that, Kr8tif Express has also surveyed over 200 local citizens on whether or not haircutting services are essential during the MCO period; it is no surprise that a majority of respondents feel that it is too soon for salons to open, and does not believe that haircuts are a necessity at this moment.

Datin Winnie Loo, Honorary President and Advisor to Malaysian Hairdressing Association, expresses her appreciation on behalf of the Malaysian Hairdressing Association, to the Government for providing an opportunity for hair salons to recommence businesses but mentions that "The health and well-being of our staffs and customers are paramount above all else. As much as we look forward to providing our services to our clientele again, we want to be certain that the curve is flattened before we roll out strict guidelines on a new operating procedure once the MCO is lifted. We want our customers to feel confident walking into our salons so that we can provide the services that they deserve once again."

Members of the Malaysian Hairdressing Association claims that it is impossible to maintain a distance of 1 meter during haircuts to avoid customers and hairdressers alike from being infected by the highly contagious virus. Even measures of hair shampooing cannot be performed in a hair salon, which makes it very difficult to maintain the cleanliness and safety of a salon environment. With the already challenging conditions, hair salon owners would rather not rush into resuming operations as they must also bear all medical expenses, should an employee be tested positive of COVID-19. Thus, the Malaysian Hairdressing Association urges the Government to revoke the permit of hair salons to resume businesses during MCO, ensuring the safety of all.

Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced today that the Government has revoked its decision to allow hair salons, barbershops and optometry shops to operate during the MCO.

“We all know the COVID-19 crisis will eventually pass and the Malaysian Hair Industry would love to contribute to leave a lasting impact,” Datin Winnie Loo said.

In the meantime, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry’s (MITI) official website crashed on the first day of application, as over 100,000 applicants flooded the website to allow their businesses to operate during the third phase of the MCO, however it is unclear how many applicants were from salon operators.

In the survey conducted by Kr8tif Express on “Are Haircutting services essential during MCO?”, over 153 individuals disagreed, 37 had mixed feelings, and 10 individuals agreed; below are some of the responses acquired:

 

  • “I disagree, stylists/barbers have extremely close contact with many clients each day. It is impossible to practice social distancing and maintain or guarantee consistent sanitization of premises and equipment. Complacency will take place without strict monitoring. Hair that has been cut will scatter everywhere with hair particles airborne. It's a definite recipe for thousands of new clusters to be created.”
     
  • “I disagree, we will never know who is infected with COVID-19 and it might spread to the staff and other customers.”
     
  • “I disagree, hair cuts are not essential, safety and health are priority over looks and style.”
     
  • “I agree. I think it brings a positive mentality, and it makes people feel great when they have a haircut. Being locked up at home is not good for anyone’s mental health.”
     
  • “I agree. Hair salons should only make appointments with known and regular customers/clients. The relationship between the two parties allows for a more trustable and safer transaction.”
     
  • “It depends on the business owner/individual. If I owned a hairdressing business, I would operate my business accordingly. As a leader in my company, I must know how to take care of my health. I will put on the mask and sanitize it regularly. I will also invest in a temperature scanner for everyone's best interests.”