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This is how hairdressers are preparing to reopen on July 4

Hairdressers are among those in the 'personal care' sector which will be opening on July 4 in Kent - and clients will have to remember to take a face mask.

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that barbers and hair salons could reopen with precautions such as the use of visors by stylists and spaced out seating.

The government released guidance for hairdressers which they are using to prepare for July 4
The government released guidance for hairdressers which they are using to prepare for July 4

Amy Bowler, of Amy Janye Aesthetics in Rainham, said: "It's great the two-metre restriction has been reduced to one metre, it certainly makes our job a lot easier. Where our role is quite hands on with our clients, staying two metres apart is quite difficult. Hairdressers reopening on the condition we wear visors is great news for us."

To keep clients safe, the salon will have hand sanitiser and a sink for hand washing, will keep a 15-minute gap between appointments so they do not overlap and will enforce a one-in, one-out process for keeping the number of people inside to a minimum.

Clients will be asked to wear their own masks to appointments, arrive alone and on time while keeping bags and coats brought in to a minimum.

Amy and her colleagues will also be wearing disposable PPE such as aprons, masks, visors and goggles. She added: "The lasers we use generate quite a hot temperature in the room, so obviously having all this on and having the machines on will be uncomfortable. But we'll do whatever it takes to get back to our clients.

"Clients have been desperate for me to reopen. Lots of them would say it was an essential thing to have open. So we're not worried we're going to have a lack of clients.

"I am concerned we will be running at a loss for a little while because on a day-to-day basis I would usually see up to 14 people a day.

"But I'm going to have to halve this because I'm going to have to account for people leaving the room, cleaning the room and then bring people back in.

"Hopefully it will only be a couple of months."

Lea Walters, owner of Stone Hairdressing in West Malling and Canterbury, is raring to go for opening day on July 4.

Her salons will be implementing a traffic light sticker system.

"We're so over the moon we can open and get our bookings in and we're all prepared and ready."

Red stickers will be taken into the toilets with clients to put on any surface they touch. This way, staff will know which areas they need to pay most attention to sanitising. Orange stickers will also be placed on seats which are in use so no one else uses them before sanitation.

There will also be no magazines around while people wait and clients will be encouraged to bring their own drinks.

To keep up with demand and work through the backlog of appointments, Lea will be increasing opening hours to 9pm and opening on Sundays.

She added: "It's fantastic news - we're so over the moon we can open and get our bookings in and we're all prepared and ready.

"We've already opened the phone lines today and doing our best getting our priority customers booked in, then general booking will open Friday."

Lea Walters has devised a system to keep customers safe
Lea Walters has devised a system to keep customers safe

Government guidelines released shortly after the Prime Minister's statement also say hairdressers can arrange home visits as long as the clients and the hairdressers are the only ones in contact during the appointment.

Hilary Hall, chief executive of the National Hair and Beauty Federation, says: “Although it’s great news hairdressers and barbers in England have a confirmed opening date, these decisions have come very late in the day.

"We are also extremely disappointed that beauty businesses are not yet allowed to reopen and we have always emphasised that hair and beauty should reopen at the same time.

"We will continue to put pressure on the government to allow beauty businesses to reopen as soon as possible and for financial support to be extended.”

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