There’s change coming and the sighs of relief can be heard in every corner… We are an optimistic bunch, and we have been looking forward to the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ for some time now. We are also a realistic bunch and we understand the importance of health and safety and working within the guidelines with the safety of our teams and clients in mind.
All things considered we were lucky to return to work and to re-open our businesses when we did. Other businesses are only now seeing restrictions lift, restrictions that have hindered or restricted their return to work completely.
With the latest lifting of restrictions, the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ has moved even closer for us all. But what does this mean for the hair and beauty industry? Will it have any impact on our business levels or on how we go about providing our services?
We expect the advancements in the lifting of restrictions to have a significant and positive impact on business levels across the hair and beauty sector. As of Monday, Sept 6th, the following amendments to restrictions come into force:
- Organised indoor events and mass gatherings can take place with capacity limits of 60% of the venue capacity where all patrons are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance.
- Live music will recommence.
- Organised outdoor events and mass gatherings can take place with capacity limits of 75% where all patrons are fully vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 within previous 6 months), or accompanied minors (under 18), in line with sectoral guidance.
AND most importantly…
- WEDDINGS; While the attendance remains at 100 guests, wedding bands will make a welcomed return. This will have a massive impact on wedding plans across the country as couples ‘un-cancel’ their cancelled wedding.
While there are protocols for all of the above, it is a move closer to normality and it means that people will start to make plans to go out, to get married, etc. We should expect to see a change in the demand for our services over the coming days and weeks as we make our way towards Oct 22nd, the next milestone in our journey to ‘normality’.
This phase will see the majority of restrictions lifted and replaced by guidance and advice to enable us to work together to protect ourselves and to live our lives to the fullest extent possible.
The Government has stated that we, the people, will need to continue to monitor the ongoing risk from the disease and take steps individually and collectively in our everyday lives to keep this risk under control.
From 22ndjn October onwards, final restrictions will be lifted including:
- requirements for physical distancing
- requirements for mask wearing outdoors and in indoor private settings
- limits on numbers at indoor and outdoor events and activities
- restrictions on religious or civil ceremonies
- limits on numbers that can meet in private homes/gardens
- certification of vaccination, immunity or testing as a prerequisite for access to, or engagement in, any activities or events (with exception of international travel)
- restrictions on high-risk activities (nightclubs for example)
Measures that will remain in place include:
- self-isolation when we have symptoms
- mask wearing in healthcare settings, indoor retail and on public transport
Reframing the Challenge, Continuing our Recovery and Reconnecting.
The Government has published a document : Reframing the Challenge, Continuing our Recovery and Reconnecting.
On page 17 of this document they set out ‘Ongoing General Requirements’. This is essential reading as we continue to live and work with COVID-19.
IMMEDIATE TERM EASING OF PUBLIC HEALTH RESTRICTIONS (Up until Oct 22nd)
2.1 ONGOING GENERAL REQUIREMENTS
Continuing requirement for:
- Those with symptoms to immediately self-isolate and seek a test.
- Those with a positive test result to self-isolate for 10 days.
- Close contacts of a confirmed case to restrict movements unless fully vaccinated.
- Increasing proportion of those identified as close contacts (with no symptoms) will not have to restrict movements as fully vaccinated rates increase.
- Maintenance of physical distancing requirements for all people in all public settings in line with agreed capacity limits.
- Those awaiting full vaccination should continue to maintain physical distancing in private settings and should avoid mixing indoors with more than one other household at a time.
- No requirement for physical distancing between fully vaccinated people in private settings.
- Continued application of current mask wearing requirements.
- No requirement for mask wearing between fully vaccinated people in private settings.
Ventilation: Ventilation will remain a core component of our COVID-19 response.
- The HSA has published a new COVID-19 Work Safely Protocol employer checklist on ventilation.
- HSE/HPSC have updated guidance, including for non-healthcare settings, to include appropriate references to ventilation and extensive work is taking place with IPC teams on implementation and stakeholder engagement.
- While existing guidelines for healthcare facility buildings emphasise the need for adequate space and the move to single-occupancy patient rooms, temporary risk mitigation measures to ensure adequate ventilation to the greatest degree practical may be required in high-risk environments pending new building or refurbishments.
- In healthcare facilities, there is a need for a greater emphasis on capacity for adequate ventilation in design and building refurbishment throughout all areas of healthcare facilities including patient-care and nonpatient care areas.
- Departments/Agencies should continue to review communications on ventilation to ensure appropriate messaging, advice and guidance in relation to ventilation is available and accessible.
- Non-healthcare facilities that serve as a base for critical services that must operate through a public health emergency will need to consider design and build for adequate space and ventilation and segregation of indoor air space. This will be less critical for facilities that house 16 services that do not need to operate during a public health emergency or that can operate remote from their core facility during a public health emergency.
As we proceed along towards Oct 22nd, let us continue to maintain our high standards of health and safety measures. We have been a leading example of implementing protocols and standards. It is vital for the continuance of the lifting of restrictions and for our collective safety that we continue to do so.
We wish you all the best as our social lives resume. Stay safe and be busy!!!