Falkirk MP and former barber's thoughts on when we can visit the hairdresser again

Falkirk’s MP and former barber John McNally has said it is still not safe for hairdressers to open back up in Scotland.

By Jill Buchanan
Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 7:29 am
Updated Wednesday, 3rd June 2020, 7:41 am

Despite many customers desperate to visit their hairdresser or barber who have been closed since lockdown began on March 23, he said it is important to err on the side of caution.

However, he has pledged to work with the Scottish Government in any way he can.

Mr McNally, a barber shop owner in Denny for over 30 years, is also chairperson of the Hair and Barber Council.

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People are keen to visit their hairdresser or barber

In England the government has said the earliest date hairdressers and barbers can open in July 4, but the Hair and Barber Council says most of its members should be ready to open in mid-June along with other non-food retail outlets.

Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are setting their own timelines for businesses to reopen.

Mr McNally said: “In Scotland we are not quite ready to see salons and barber shops open as our ‘R’ rate has to be at an acceptable level for safety.

John McNally, Falkirk MP and chairperson of the Hair and Barber Council

“I understand why salon owners will be feeling all kinds of pressure to see customers but we have to err on the side of safety for clients and staff.

“I have spent hours in Zoom meetings with experts in the industry and there will be guidelines coming out on how we can best get back to work safely.

“There are still some questions we are looking at – like clarity on PPE provisions.

“With the back to work planning in mind, I have provided the contact details of chief executive officer of the Hair and Barber Council, Keith Conniford and Lesley Blair, chairperson of the British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology, to the Scottish Government if they wish to contact them on their expertise.”

The UK government has said it is currently working with the industry to provide more specific advice, but have set out some initial guidance for situations where people cannot work 2 metres apart. These include:

*Keep the activity time involved as short as possible

*Use screens or barriers to separate each other

*Use back-to-back or side-to-side working

*Stagger arrival and departure times

*Introduce teams in store to reduce contact.

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