Belgian hairdressers took to city streets across the country on Saturday to press authorities to allow them to reopen their shops by the 14th of December.
According to the Coiffure.org professional federation, about 400 barbers took part in the symbolic action at 12.15 p.m. on Saturday, setting up their equipment in the street and clipping the hair of a mannequin or someone from their bubble.
This was their way of expressing dissatisfaction at the measures taken by the authorities to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and their dismay at their financial situation, which has continued to worsen since the start of the crisis in March.
“Some did not dare take part in the operation because municipal authorities indicated that fines could be imposed,” Coiffure.org said. “But we are all determined to obtain the reopening of our salons and financial aid to offset our losses.”
According to a survey conducted by the federation among 1,840 barbers, 74% felt the crisis threatened their ability to continue their activities. In Flanders and Wallonia, support measures seemed insufficient to cover their fixed expenses, while in Brussels they were still stalled.
No fewer than 81% of respondents said they had been approached by clients asking them to cut their hair secretly, in all illegality.