A bad hair day
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  • Salons, tattoo and massage parlours may all open from Friday night, under rules just published in the Government Gazette.
  • While massages are legal, hairdressers may not offer scalp massages at basins.
  • And there may be no drinks or food served while you get a pedicure.
  • Here are the rules for personal care services, now legal again under Alert Level 3.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.


Personal care services – including hair salons – may legally open again from Friday night, after the publication of rules they must follow in the Government Gazette.

The rules are immediately in force, which means more than 80 days of prohibition on such services has also ended immediately.

The services allowed are:

  • Hairdressing
  • Barbering
  • Nail and toe treatment
  • Facial treatment and make-up
  • Body massage
  • Tattooing and body piercing

All must follow the same strict hygiene protocols required of other businesses, albeit with some unique twists – and a handful of strange provisions.

See also | What cinemas will be like when they reopen: Staggered access and disinfection every half hour

Social distancing is required “wherever possible”, with a requirement, above normal face masks, for “more protective masks for close facial contact”.

Aprons must be washed with soap and water after each customer, and gloves "required for treatments" must be changed after each customer too.

Salons must “encourage” pre-booking, but it is not mandatory. Likewise, employees older than 60 or with co-morbidities “must be discouraged from working”, but are not banned from doing so.

See also | Hazmat suits and fans on webcams: This is what English Premier League games look like now

Guests are not allowed in salons, only those to receive treatments, and there may be no “beverage or food amenities”.

Where work stations cannot be at least 1.5 metres apart, they must have partitions between them.

Although massage and piercings are allowed, there is to be "no unnecessary touching and no scalp, neck, shoulders and arms massages at the basin".

See also | No flowers, disinfected chips and paper menus — here’s how Sun hotels, casinos will re-open

There must also be “set time limits for each treatment to minimise unnecessary interactions with customers”.

Tattoo parlours are required to use nitrile, not latex, gloves.

The rules cover both formal and informal salons.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday night that several sectors previously considered considered dangerous spreading grounds would be allowed to reopen. He named

  • restaurants for sit down meals
  • "accredited and licensed" accommodation – but with the specific exception of "home-sharing accommodation like Airbnb"
  • conferences and meetings "for business purposes", with limitations on the number of people
  • cinemas and theatres, likewise with limits on the number of people
  • casinos
  • hairdressers, beauty salons, and other personal care services, and
  • non-contact sports, including tennis, golf, and cricket.

Details of reopening would be forthcoming in due course, he said. There has been no word since on other sectors.

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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