Prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced today that barbershops, hair/beauty salons and optometry shops cannot operate during the Movement Control Order (MCO). This is a backtrack of the previous decision to allow additional businesses and sectors to open as part of phase three of the MCO.
According to the guidelines outlined by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), hair salons and barbershops are allowed to open but only the cutting of hair is permitted. These are allowed to operate three times a week—Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, from 10AM to 8PM.
The move to relax restrictions on select businesses such as hair salon has drawn flak and concern amongst industry players, the people as well as state governments.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also urged the government to maintain tight restrictions under the Movement Control Order (MCO) and for the reopening of selected businesses be postponed. The DG said while plans to resume operations can be made, the implementation should be deferred, he told the press at his daily press briefing on Saturday.
Similarly, former deputy health minister Dr Lee Boon Chye asked Putrajaya to rethink its decision as barber and hair salons are deemed a “high-risk” sector.
The Penang state government had also urged the federal government to reconsider the move. Barbershops and hair salons are not allowed to operate in the state during the MCO.
Likewise, the Malaysian Hairdressing Association (MHA) said haircuts should not be listed as a necessary service. It would be almost impossible for hairstylists to ensure the safety of both customers and staff. In a survey conducted by the association, it was found that more than 90 per cent of respondents were against the move.
The government on Friday announced the extension of the MCO for another 14 days to 28 April.
Header image: BERNAMA
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