By John Isaac
BARBER shops, hair salons and beauty salons can now provide hair treatment services while adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) under the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO), starting today.
An updated SOP released by the Local Government and Housing Ministry stated that apart from basic haircuts, other allowed services include basic hair washing, facial hair shaving, hair treatments and styling, pedicures and eyelash styling.
Services that are still not allowed are ear cleaning, nose hair trimming, head and shoulder massages and mobile barber services.
According to the Borneo Post, the ministry has also allowed the premises to operate at their normal operating hours.
The SOP will be enforced under the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act 1988 (Act 342) and the Police Act 1967, and is subject to updates from the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) and the local governments.
In the SOP, the ministry warned that only businesses registered with the local governments were allowed to operate, and their businesses must also be registered with their respective district offices and Inland Revenue Board.
On top of informing their workers on the updated SOP, operators of barber shops and hair and beauty salons must also ensure all SOP guidelines are complied with, including wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitising premises and appliances, and recording the details of customers manually or through the Qmunity or CovidTrace applications.
Operators must also provide hand sanitisers at the entrance of their premises for customers.
Customers must have their body temperature checked first before being allowed to enter the premises, and those with temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius or higher are not allowed to enter.
Face masks must also be worn by customers at all times.
Operators employing foreign workers must adhere to the government’s directive to screen them for Covid-19 from time to time.
Cleaning and sanitisation of premises should be done at least three times a day (before, during and after) on counter tops, door knobs, and tables and chairs in the waiting area.
The ministry also encouraged operators to schedule appointments with customers, and to only allow walk-in customers if there are no other customers waiting.
While waiting for their turn in the premises, customers must observe social distancing of at least one metre at all times.
For operators, customers having their hair done on the barber chair must be seated at least two metres apart from other customers.
For those unable to meet this requirement, the barber chair in between should not be occupied to ensure the two-metre social distancing rule is observed.
Barbers must wear face masks at all times while attending to a customer, and are also encouraged to wear disposable sanitary gowns and face shields at the same time.
Towels and cloths cannot be reused or shared among different customers.
After attending to a customer, barbers must wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser, and put on new or fresh gloves before receiving the next customer.
Used PPE must be disposed off in sealed bins.
Parents are allowed to accompany their children during haircuts but must wear face masks. Customers aged 60 and above are encouraged to make an appointment before going to the barber shop or hair salon.
The ministry also encouraged operators to utilise cashless payments to avoid unnecessary close contact.