: Barbers and hairdressers are encouraged to voluntarily undergo COVID-19 screening tests prior to reopening this Wednesday to give people more assurance in availing services from them.
Malaysian Bumiputera Barbers Association (MBBA) president TN Winda Mohd Tahir said this would be in addition to other measures under the existing standard operating procedure on COVID-19, such as social distancing and the use of facemasks and hand sanitisers.
"This (COVID-19 screening) would be more reassuring for the public, but given the high cost (of the test), the association hopes there are some parties willing to help these entrepreneurs so that they can be certified as healthy," he told Bernama when contacted here yesterday.
According to TN Winda, most barbers and hairdressers were currently setting appointments with clients using various applications such as WhatsApp to avoid crowding at their premises.
He added that barber and salon trade associations were also seeking special assistance from the government, as they have been financially impacted after not being allowed to operate for almost three months since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was first enforced.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Hairdressing Association (MHA) president Michael Poh explained that the service did not pose a high risk to customers, and was, in fact, safer than other sectors if the SOP was properly complied with.
"This (reopening) is good for the hairdressers and hair industry...if we're not open, we're not going to survive ... a lot of companies will close down and we're going to be jobless...if you adhere to the SOP, you should be fine.
"Seven associations got together and discussed with the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for the reopening ... and the government listened to our voice, it's a good thing," he said.
The seven associations are the MHA; Bumiputera Hairdressing Association (Buha); MBBA; Hairdressing Skills Development Association (HSDA); Malaysian Indian Hairstylist Empowerment Association (Mihass); Malaysian Indian Hair Dressing Salon Owners Association (Mindas); and the Selangor and Federal Territories Indian Hairstylists Association (PJRISWP).
Meanwhile, the owner of the 'Substract Barbershop' in Taiping, Perak, Syadzwan Rosli, 34, said he was relieved to be allowed to operate again and had no problem complying with the government's SOP, besides willing to undergo the COVID-19 screening test if required.
"I only hope that if we are required to have the test done, we're allowed to do it at the government hospital, at least for free, before we begin operations," he said.