The Irish Hairdressers Federation has today published guidelines which it says should allow hair salons to reopen safely in the Government's Phase 3 easing of Covid-19 restrictions instead of Phase 4. 

The Federation said the 100 specific measures were developed after engagement with the HSE and the Health & Safety Authority (HAS) and with the assistance of noted Irish health and safety experts.

About 25,000 people are employed in the hairdressing sector. 

Among the main recommendations in the guidelines are the extensive use of PPE for stylists and customers as well as Covid-19 training for all staff.

Customers will be screened when taking bookings while full sanitisation of workstations will be carried out after each customer.

Salon visits and customer phone numbers will be recorded for contact tracing, while no magazines or reading material to be provided at hairdressers or barbers. 

The incoming president of the federation says she is disappointed that the opening date for the sector has not been brought forward.

"Our guidelines go above and beyond the Government's advice on what to do, and will enable hairdressers and barber shops to reopen safely in Phase 3 rather than Phase 4," said Danielle Kennedy. 

"This is an extremely safe and cautious set of guidelines. There are in-depth procedures on staff training, sanitisation, hand hygiene, social distancing, screening of clients and use of PPE," she said, 

"There are 25,000 people employed in our sector and we want to ensure they can come back to work safely. If we wait any longer to reopen, hundreds of small businesses will go bust and thousands of people will lose their jobs," she cautioned.