PETALING JAYA: A hairstylist association disagrees with the government’s move to allow barbershops and salons to resume service during the movement control order (MCO) period, Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported today.

Selangor and Federal Territories Indian Hairstylists Association chairman Ganathiban Murugan told FMT he was unsure why the government was allowing people to get their hair cut at the barber’s.

“In supermarkets, people have to stand at least 1m away from each other, but to cut hair we have to come into close contact with our customers. How do we keep a safe distance from them?

“We do not know who has the virus. My suggestion is that we do not open shop for now, it is the wrong time.”

Yesterday, the government announced that a number of services, including hair salons, will be allowed to operate under the MCO which has been extended another 14 days to April 28.

For hair salons and barber shops, only the cutting of hair is permitted. The government, however, said that businesses which were allowed to operate must comply with existing guidelines, including those of the health ministry and enforcement agencies.

According to FMT, Ganathiban said his members were discussing measures they could take, including checking the temperature of customers, allowing only one customer at a time to have their hair cut, and even wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like doctors.

“Is it possible (to implement)? I don’t know. We have had to close since March 18, why not wait till after April 28?”

He said ministers should place themselves in the shoes of the hairstylists.

“When we want to work, we must work without fear,” he told FMT, adding that this was why he felt hair salon and barber services should only resume when everything was okay.

As of yesterday, a total of 4,346 Covid-19 cases have been recorded nationwide with 70 deaths.

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