Local hair salons and tattoo parlours across New South Wales fear they could soon go bust due to strict post-lockdown rules.
NSW Health released the roadmap on Thursday, allowing businesses to reopen to fully vaccinated clients once the state’s 70 per cent vaccination target is achieved.
Personal services such as hairdressers and tattoo studios will be allowed to operate under a one person per four square metres rule. It will be capped at five clients.
Gyms and indoor recreational facilities are also permitted to reopen under a one person per four square metres rule but will be able to hold classes for up to 20 members.
The five person cap limit has local business owners concerned as they fear they will lose money when they reopen.
Kellie Fielding, owner of Wicked Ink Tattoo and Body Piercing studios in Penrith, Campbelltown, and Goulburn says the five person cap needs to be scrapped altogether.
‘It doesn’t make any sense and I do feel like we’ve been targeted,’ she told 9News.
‘Our largest studio is 220sqm, another is 120sqm and 80sqm this should equate to 20 to 55 people on our premises according to the one person per four square metre rule.’
She said the client cap was unfair in comparison to the 20 member rule for gyms while retailers and restaurants have no limit in place other than a one person per four square meter rule.
The same five person rule also applies to hairdressers and beauty salons who have labelled the move as ‘impractical’ and ‘extremely unfair’.
In an online petition launched by Amy Campbell, the owner of The Bridal Bar in south Sydney, the state’s health officials are called to scrap the limit so all staff can return to their jobs.
‘Our Salon is over 400 square metres and we have 14 staff, we have the space and capability to service over 20 clients safely in a Covid safe manner,’ Ms Campbell wrote.
‘We would like to bring all our staff back to work after being stood down but can’t if we have to cap our clients at five people at a time.’
‘This is extremely unfair when gyms are allowed 20 per class and we believe hair and beauty should be treated the same.’
‘The Hair and Beauty industry has suffered enough.’
The petition was addressed to NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Health Minister Brad Hazzard and has attracted over 16,000 signatures so far.
Concerns over how larger salons would be able to operate under the new roadmap rules were put forward to Health Minister Brad Hazzard in a press conference earlier this month.
The Health Minister acknowledged the limit could still be reviewed while sympathising with difficulties business owners would have operating under the five client cap.
‘The limit of five in a hairdressers, some of them are very large premises, and it may well be that we can, as we move forward and get more people vaccinated, actually make that a much more flexible arrangement,’ Mr Hazzard said.
‘I’m very sympathetic to that. I’d like to be able to convince our chief health officer and other senior epidemiologists that that’s where we can get to.’
This comes as NSW is another step closer to more eased restrictions as the state recorded 1035 new coronavirus cases and five deaths on Wednesday.
The state remains on track to hit its 70 per cent double jab target in the first week of October with 54.2 per cent of eligible residents now fully vaccinated.
‘I want to assure the business community that the NSW will have a similar compliance regime to before the Delta outbreak,’ Ms Berejiklian said on Wednesday.
‘It won’t be different to what it was beforehand but we’ll remind everybody was expectations to ensure that’s the case.’
‘The government is also busily working on our 80 per cent road map which we expect to start implementing excitingly somewhere mid-October and we’ll know, obviously, closer to that time.’
NSW Roadmap to freedom: Venues including hospitality, retail stores and gyms at 70% vaccination
· Hospitality venues can reopen subject to one person per 4sqm inside and one person per 2sqm outside, with standing while drinking permitted outside.
· Retail stores can reopen under the one person per 4sqm rule (unvaccinated people will continue to only be able to access critical retail).
· Personal services such as hairdressers and nail salons can open with one person per 4sqm, capped at five clients per premises.
· Gyms and indoor recreation facilities can open under the one person per 4sqm rule and can offer classes for up to 20 people.
· Sporting facilities including swimming pools can reopen.
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