Personal care services hopeful for level 3 reopening after govt response

The Employers Organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Beauty (EOHCB) has expressed hope that the government would soon allow personal care services to reopen during alert level 3.

In an update on its website on Monday, EOHCB said it had received confirmation from the government that it was finalising the applicable guidelines.

EOHCB said the government told it that the relevant Department “is in the process of drafting the necessary protocols and/or guidelines for the opening of business activities including hairdressing, beauty treatments, makeup, nail salons, piercing and tattoo parlours for the resuming of these business operations.”

Guidelines to be finalised ‘by end of week’

The organisation did not specify which Department or Minister had responded to it, but said it had received assurance that the guidelines would be finalised by the end of this week.

It added, “Unfortunately, and due to the sensitivity of the matter and the confidential nature thereof, the entire letter cannot be published herein.

“However, it is evident that the protocols and/or guidelines are enjoying [the] government’s urgent attention and will, once made available, allow personal care services to resume under alert level 3, subject to the implementation and execution of these protocols and/or guidelines.”

Hair salons and other personal care services have remained shut since the lockdown was first implemented in late March.

DA threatens legal action

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as well as Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel both said last week that discussions with the sector were underway.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has given Dlamini-Zuma until 14h00 on Wednesday to respond to its lawyer’s letter on the matter or face legal action.

In the letter sent on Tuesday, the party’s lawyers asked the Minister to clarify “whether a determination has been [made] that it is currently not ‘safe’ for the industry ‘to resume work’ and, if so, who made such determination, when was it made, and what the reasons for making such determination are.”

They also asked why the criteria applied for religious gatherings under level 3 are not applicable to the personal care services industry.

In a statement, DA MP Dean MacPherson said, “It simply makes no sense that the personal care industry is excluded from taking part in the economy in a safe manner with proper hygiene protocols in place, when so many other industries are allowed to open during level 3 of the lockdown.

“The DA will not stand for this and we will do what it takes to open up this industry as soon as possible and to get rid of this irrational and devastating regulation.”

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