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    Brussels hairdressers eager to reopen

    © Belga

    Hairdressers in Brussels are eager to get the green-light from authorities to open their businesses again, with many saying their agendas are already filling up as expectation for reopening builds.

    The reopening of some close-contact businesses such as hair and beauty salons from 18 May is up for discussion among leaders holding a National Security Council meeting on Tuesday.

    The professional association of Belgian hairdressers has issued recommendations for salons eyeing a potential reopening, which they say remained nevertheless uncertain.

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    “We passed the previous [lockdown] stages, so there is a chance,” spokesperson Mitch Mues told Bruzz.

    Customers seem eager to get a haircut as well, with many salon owners telling the outlet that they were being swamped with appointments.

    A hair salon owner in the municipality of Saint-Gilles said that after recently reopening bookings, she was already booked for the next two weeks.

    Another hairdresser in Woluwe-Saint-Pierre said that she started taking bookings again on Monday and that she was already fully booked until mid-June.

    The hairdressers’ association has provided guidelines and printables for members looking to open from next week, and many have already adapted their workspaces for a post-lockdown trim.

    The hairdresser in Saint-Gilles said she had stocked up on sanitising gel and placed plexiglas screens between customers’ chairs, and that staff would be wearing face masks, a face visor and gloves.

    “We have thought of everything and bought gel, masks and gloves, we also ask people to come by appointment only and to wear a face mask,” the owner of a men’s salon in downtown Brussels said.

    Another hairdresser in the municipality of Forest even stocked up on additional capes —to ensure that there was one available for each separate customer— and bought a device to sterilise hair brushes.

    “Hairdresser don’t normally use it, but I’m on the safe side,” the salon owner said.

    If hair salons do not receive the ok for reopening next week, some have said that it would be catastrophic, pushing some to turn to undeclared work.

    “I suspect that more and more hairdressers will work in the black, I have already heard that this is happening in Anderlecht and Saint-Gilles,” one hairdresser said.

    As other non-essential businesses shuttered in March, hair salons in Belgium were among last to be ordered to shutter after many pressured the government to order their forced closure over rising health concerns.

    Gabriela Galindo
    The Brussels Times