TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Barbershop operators in Taoyuan were caught by surprise Tuesday (June 8) when the city government overturned a June 4-14 closure order stemming from the current COVID-19 surge.
Before the weekend, the city had said that all hair salons, barbershops, and nail salons should close for 10 days to prevent coronavirus infections, but on the fifth day of the closure, Mayor Cheng Wen-tsan (鄭文燦) said they could reopen if they followed basic social distancing rules.
Independent hairdressers were reportedly displeased by the original measure, saying their businesses would find it impossible to survive, UDN reported. They said they would be unable to pay the rent or wages of assistants while also pointing out that their colleagues in Taipei and New Taipei City, which have been hit much harder by COVID, have not been forced to close up shop.
A local association of barbers said members would wear masks at all times and do their utmost to limit their work to within one hour per client to minimize the risk of infection, while staff would be split into two shifts, UDN reported.
Taoyuan said the reversal of its policy was the result of the central government not issuing any restrictions on barbershops after announcing Monday (June 7) that the current Level 3 COVID alert would be extended from June 14 until June 28.
The national measure banned indoor gatherings of more than five people and outdoor meetings of more than 10. It also meant many locations, including schools, libraries, museums, nightclubs, and karaoke bars, would remain closed until the extended restrictions expire.