Saving salons and parlours during the COVID-19 pandemic in Karachi


Sindh has finally allowed most industries and sectors to open, even if for a few hours with SOP’s which are necessary for the economy to survive because of the lockdown. However, there are a few sectors which have been completely overlooked because of COVID-19 fears although if proper SOPs are followed, problems can be minimised. Parlours and salons have not been able to open for the past three months now with no expected date of opening.
Parlour and salon owners range from small shops to big ones and they have been left to fend for themselves during these hard economic times. They have remained closed for the past three months and have to pay rents of their salons, salaries of workers with no earning in sight. Some have completely gone out of business while others are holding onto a straw and will go bankrupt soon if not allowed to open with strict SOPs as in other countries. With a salon around every corner, one can imagine the impact on the economy if all of them go bankrupt.
Keeping in mind that a single salon provides work for several employee workers, and a closing down of a parlour means the loss of livelihood for at least three people (in case of a small parlor) to up to seventy employees (in case of a big parlor). Also, to be noted here are women-led parlours, where the female staff are losing their jobs. These Parlours provide jobs to a lot of women who otherwise have no other livelihood and hence a whole industry is on its knees at the moment, whereas if allowed to operate under certain SOPs, as has been allowed in many foreign countries, sector can be saved from devastation. Here are a few SOP’s that foreign countries are following and can be adopted:
By accepting clients only by appointment, it can be ensured that the salon or parlour is not crowded and limited to the number of seats in the parlour only. Secondly, plastic sheets which are disposable be used as aprons for hair cutting and thrown away after every customer.
Disposable one-time blades be used for shaves. Scissors be disinfected by alcohol based disinfectants etc. after each use.
New pair of gloves be used for each customer. Gloves for a facial be mandatory. Also for hair-cuts or any service which requires any contact between customer and worker. Masks also to be worn by workers and staff at all times. Customer may take off where contact through gloves is needed, but worker shall keep theirs on at all times.
Temperature checking devise be made compulsory, and every customer be checked before entering. Workers also must check daily.
The Use of fresh cut cotton instead of all sponges for facials and other services be made necessary. And in the case of make-up, disposable one-time-use sponges should be used. Disinfect each work station, seats, equipment, area, table tops, brushes, bowls with cotton and Dettol/alcohol/chlorine based disinfectant mixed with water after each customer. If taken by appointment, it can be ensured that proper ventilation is adhered to by opening up windows or doors every now and then.
These are most of the SOP’s being used in foreign countries and keep in mind that it will ensure that no germs are allowed to profligate as everything is disposable and disinfected. Customers should be accepted on appointment only, which means an uncrowded working area. Following these SOPs and allowing Salons and Parlors to operate can save a lot of people from being unemployed and several such outlets from going out of business completely.