We visit a barber to test safety compliance

Extreme safety measures have been put in place at Mumbai express barbershop in Parkhurst, Johannesburg, 30 June 2020.  Extra care has been taken during the COVID 19 Pandemic to ensure clients feel safe.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

There’s something to be said for getting pampered in a salon and this Citizen reporter is still safe, and very happy with his much-needed haircut.

It has been about two weeks since President Cyril Ramaphosa gave the go-ahead for beauty salons to open their doors for business.

However, while this should be good news for this sector, most salons are struggling to get clients into their chairs due to fear of contracting the coronavirus.

Days ahead of them opening again, The Citizen caught up with a few well-known Johannesburg industry players to get their take on what the new ease of limitations meant for their daily operations.

Although most business owners were eager to open, Larry Hodes, the owner of Arbour Cafe, said: “I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, we’re very excited as it means bringing back more staff, earning more revenue and getting back to what we know best. On the other hand, I am not sure how consumers will take to this, i.e. will they frequent the restaurants?”

You are expected to complete a register/disclaimer and your temperature is taken and you have to sanitise your hands. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

This reporter decided, after going about 117 days without a haircut, to visit a local barber in Parkhurst to gauge just how safe the experience would be.

From the moment you enter the parking area at Mumbai Express Barber Shop, you are expected to complete a register/disclaimer and your temperature is taken and you have to sanitise your hands.

The very popular Mumbai Express Barber Shop, which is usually a hive of activity with customers waiting their turn and salon chairs packed within close proximity to each other, has been completely remodelled.

Extra care has been taken during the Covid-19 Pandemic to ensure clients feel safe. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

“We have removed chairs so that customers and staff adhere to the social distancing rule. In fact, we have two metres between each work station, which is more than the stipulated distance,” said Jacques Botha, the owner of the salon.

Botha said that while customers have been returning, the numbers of clients are not what it used to be.

He has since also offered home-visit cut options for those customers who are still not convinced about safety.

“We understand that despite us taking all necessary precautions, a lot of our customers are working from home now and will feel safer to have a haircut in the safety and comfort of their own home,” Botha said on the business Facebook page.

Mumbai Xpress Barber Shop’s home-barber-service goes for R100 for a gent’s haircut and R150 for a lady’s cut, and has to be within a 5km range of their branches.

There’s something to said for getting pampered in a salon and, in spite of the hugely convenient home option that’s offered, this Citizen reporter is still safe and very happy with his much-needed haircut.

Freshly cut and still safe after my visit to Mumbai Xpress Barber Shop in Parkhurst.

For more information, visit Mumbai Xpress Barber Shop on Facebook, call 084 414 9369 or email mumbai.xpress.barber@gmail.com.

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