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    Coronavirus: Hairdressers must close doors as well

    Many hairdressers had already decided to close on their own initiative. Credit: Belga

    After it was initially decided that hairdressers had to stay open during Belgium’s shutdown because of the new coronavirus (Covid-19), the National Security Council decided to close the salons from Wednesday.

    After Belgium’s shutdown measures were announced last week, hairdressers were angry and said they were faced with the choice “between cholera and the plague” – either to close down without the compensation available to others, or to carry on with major risk to the health of customers, staff and themselves.

    Hair salons were allowed to stay open, but could only receive clients by appointment, and only one hairdresser and one client were allowed inside the salon at any one time.

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    Not only did that correspond to only a fraction of the number of clients hairdressers usually saw in a day, but it also exposed them to potential infection, as keeping a 1.5m distance was not an option for them.

    Many hairdressers had already decided to close on their own initiative, “to put their health and that of the customer first” at the risk of a serious loss of income, said Coiffure.org, the sector federation for the hairdressing industry, on its blog.

    Hairdressers, just like all other shops that have to close their businesses during the shutdown, can now claim a compensation sum of €4,000.

    Translation of tweet by Jan Jambon, Minister-President of Flanders: “Hairdressing salons are being closed. Satisfied that the colleagues of #begov and the federal states responded to the question we, as the Flemish government, asked on Friday. Hairdressing salons are entitled to the compensation provided by the Flemish government for all commercial matters that have to be closed.”

    The closure period is currently until at least 5 April, as is the case for all other sectors. However, this could change if the government decides to extend the lockdown measures, according to the federation.

    Maïthé Chini
    The Brussels Times