Himachal Pradesh first with SOP for barbers

Discussion about hairstyling and colour must be done via a mirror and kept to a minimum

Himachal Pradesh first with SOP for barbers

Introducing new standard operating procedures (SOP) for salon owners, Himachal Pradesh has prohibited direct communication between barbers and customers.

Aditi Tandon

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 24

Introducing new standard operating procedures (SOP) for salon owners, Himachal Pradesh has prohibited direct communication between barbers and customers.

“Direct communication between barber and customer is not permitted. Discussion about hairstyling and colour must be done via a mirror and kept to a minimum,” state the SOPs, which were hailed for their safety parameters after Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur recently presented them at a virtual meeting with Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan.

Originally developed by the Sirmaur administration, the model SOPs during Covid lockdown, have now been circulated across other districts of the state, where salon services are gradually resuming.

Among the first of their kind in the country, the SOPs lay down stringent social distancing and safety measures inside salon spaces mandating face shields, triple-layered masks, hand gloves and head covers for barbers; sterilised equipment and 1.5 metre distance between chairs. No towels have been permitted for use inside salons and only disposable materials are allowed. Likewise, waiting areas and magazines are not permitted.

Also, barbers and customers would have to compulsorily install the Aarogya Setu app on their mobile phones to be able to dispense and receive services. “No masks, no service” rule would apply to customers who would need to wear triple-layered cloth masks.

With the pandemic still evolving, Himachal has decided to permit only haircuts and colouring in the first phase of salon operations while shaving, beard trimming, threading, waxing, facials and all other services would have to wait.

Speaking to The Tribune about the much-talked about SOPs, RK Pruthi, DC, Sirmaur, today said, “These SOPs are guided by the consideration of safety of both barbers and customers. We have developed these SOPs for Sirmaur, but now the state government has circulated these across districts. Out of 364 barbers in Sirmaur, we have already trained 197 as per Covid appropriate guidelines and 100 shops have begun operations. We can roll out services fast because we had conducted advance training of all barbers. Customer registration for services has been made mandatory and each trained barber has been given an ID.”

SOPs also provide for free face shields, masks and biodegradable aprons for barbers while customers would have to pay Rs 20 extra per apron which is to be disposed after single use.

Unique norms

  • Face shields, triple-layered masks, hand gloves and head covers for barbers, sterilised equipment and 1.5 m distance between chairs
  • No towels permitted for use inside salons; only disposable materials allowed
  • Likewise, waiting areas and magazines not permitted
  • Aarogya Setu app must for both barbers and customers

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