Barbershops, salons allowed to open on June 7

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Barbershops, salons allowed to open on June 7
A barber of the Gupitan Barbershop in Quezon City puts up plastic separators between chairs yesterday ahead of the resumption of grooming services in Metro Manila.
Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Barbershops and hair salons will be allowed to reopen starting June 7 in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ) – including Metro Manila – subject to minimum health protocols, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said yesterday.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said in a Viber message the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has approved the gradual reopening of barbershops and salons but only at 30 percent operating capacity.

For those in modified GCQ areas, he said they are allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity even before June 7, provided they are ready to implement prescribed health protocols.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr., however, said the services would be limited to simple haircut. 

Areas placed under GCQ starting June 1 aside from the National Capital Region or Metro Manila are Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, the provinces of Pangasinan and Albay, as well as Davao City. The rest of the country would be on modified GCQ.

“Earlier opening was reconsidered in recognition of the very strict health protocol that was developed and to be adopted before they can be allowed to operate, to prevent any risk of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) transmission, as well as the need to start bringing back the jobs of the estimated 400,000 workers in the industry working in over 35,000 shops,” Lopez said.

“There will be no need for accreditation to remove any bureaucracy in opening, but there will be operations audit to be done, and non-compliant shops will be closed down until they correct the deficiencies,” he added.

Under the guidelines issued by the DTI on minimum health standards for barbershops and salons, they should have information posted at the entrance and other prominent parts of the premises on the following: mandatory wearing of face masks at all times, social distancing, regular sanitation schedule and procedures, alternative methods of payment if applicable, alternative methods of scheduling appointments (e.g. online, text-messaging system), client-personnel interaction protocols, policy against the bringing of companions unless needed, enforcement of measures on clients who refuse to comply with the protocols.

Barbershops and salons would also need to have the following at the entrance of their establishments: floor mat or footbath with disinfectant, thermal scanner for temperature reading, as well as alcohol that can be easily sprayed on clients’ hands.

In addition, a health checklist should be distributed to all clients at the entrance.

Barbershops and salons also need to come up with a system wherein clients’ bags, jackets and gadgets would be disinfected and deposited in secured sanitary plastic bags.

Chairs inside the establishment should at least be one meter apart on all sides.

DTI said there should be visible floor markings to serve as guide for customers inside the establishment.

Personal belongings of personnel should be placed in plastic bags stored in an area inaccessible to clients.

Face masks should be readily available for sale or for free to clients. Work stations should also be sterilized before and after each service. A 10-minute interval for sanitation in between clients is being required by DTI.

Furniture made of porous materials must be covered in plastic for ease of sanitation and there should be strict use of disposable-only menus, magazines and other reading materials.

All high contact areas and surfaces like pens for filling in forms, door handles and common tables should be regularly sanitized.

DTI said employees showing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to a COVID-19 patient would not be allowed to work.

All employees reporting for work in barbershops and salons, meanwhile, should observe proper personal hygiene like having clipped fingernails. They should wear personal protective equipment including face mask, face shield, eyeglasses, gloves, haircaps. They should only have closed shoes for footwear. Jewelry is not allowed.

Employees also have to declare their health and whereabouts before starting their duty in case contact tracing becomes necessary.

They should likewise properly dispose of single-use supplies like cotton balls, popsicle sticks and tissue.

DTI said there should be no physical contact during payment and establishments may use trays or receptacles to receive cash payments. Christina Mendez



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