As salons and beauty parlours open in Tamil Nadu, experts call for extra precautions

Customers, if possible, can bring their own towels from home, they say

With salons and beauty parlours all set to open across Tamil Nadu, except in Chennai police limits and containment zones, public health experts call for extra precautions to prevent transmission of COVID-19.

Considering the risk of COVID-19 transmission at such places, both employees and customers should adhere to safety norms, they say.

“Such facilities have to function at some point. How to function safely is important. The processes involved should be looked at. Customers should be allowed one by one depending upon the number of chairs in the salon, and others should wait outside. They should wash hands before entering the salon, preferably with soap and water. If providing this is difficult, in the case of small outlets, then hand sanitisers should be made available,” K. Kolandaswamy, former director of public health, said.

It is important to disinfect the seat after the customer leaves. The employees should wash their hands after attending to a customer, he said. “These will help in infection control. Windows could be kept open for natural ventilation, and surfaces should be cleaned regularly,” he added.

Experts say that some of the commonly used things are combs, towels, shaving kits and scissors. Customers, if possible, could bring their own towels from home.

P. Kuganantham, former city health officer, said all instruments used in the outlet should be sterilised. “There is a risk of transmission as persons come in close contact with each other. So, both the customer and employee should wear masks. In fact, employees can wear double-layer masks, and gloves. Anybody with a cough, cold, sneeze should not go to salons or beauty parlours. Similarly, employees with any such symptom should not attend to customers,” he said.

Physical distancing should be maintained while waiting outside the outlets, he said, adding: “Air conditioners should not be used.”

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