Even as lockdown restrictions are being eased in orange zones across states in India, businesses are having a tough time reopening amid social distancing norms. Keeping in mind these new rules, hairstyling salons in Maharashtra have found a novel way to keep COVID-19 at bay while servicing customers. They are asking customers to bring their own towels.
As per a report in Indian Express, several salons and hair spas in the state's Nanded district that opened over the weekend have adopted this new rule of asking customers to bring their own towels.
The new rules are as per guidelines issued by Nanded Collector Vipin Itankar which also include mandatory wearing of face masks by both customers and salon personnel, only allowing customers who have made prior bookings and always maintaining a distance of three fee with and between customers. The guidelines apply only to salons in Nanded and not all of Maharashtra where several fake notifications about new rules for establishments like salon have been going viral.
Other rules include sanitising and sterilising salon equipment such as scissors, combs, brushes and other items.
The report also mentioned that salons in Nanded have stocked up generously on disinfectants and gloves to help them sail through the pandemic.
Salons in Maharashtra aren't the only ones to adopt new measures and technology to help their businesses become COVID-19 proof.
Employees as a popular hair salon in Bengaluru which recently started functioning after nearly two months of lockdown, requires staff to wear PPE-like suits replete with face shields, masks, gloves, plastic robes, and shoe covers.
Many salons have also brought introduced temperature testing and oximeter checks for customers and staff as well as compulsory hairwashes before hair cuts. Facial and manicure services have been suspended for now due to social distancing norms.
Several states have been proactive about drafting new rules and guidelines for salons and hair spas, which employ lakhs of workers. Tamil Nadu, for instance, has over two lakh salons that employ about five lakh workers.
But while resuming services like salons is essential, states need to ensure these spots don't become clusters for COVID-19 infections. In April, six men had become infected by COVID-19 after visiting a salon in Madhya Pradesh.