First of all, what is social distancing?
Social distancing is when you reduce contact between yourself and other people.
Social distancing guidelines advise keeping 1.5 metres between yourself and other people where possible and avoiding gatherings. Doing this and practicing good personal hygiene are two of the best things we can do to help slow the spread of coronavirus, protecting the most vulnerable members of the community and reducing the pandemic’s impact on the healthcare system.
Social distancing is not the same as self isolation. Self isolation is essential if you have tested positive for COVID-19, you have been identified as a close contact of a person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, or you have entered Australia from anywhere overseas. If you are self isolating you are required to stay on your property, indoors or in your back yard if you have one. You should not go to your hairdressing appointment if you are self isolating or if you feel unwell.
So… can I still go to the hairdresser if I’m social distancing?
At this stage social distancing is advice not law so hairdressers are still open for business and many establishments are reassuring clients that they’re stepping up their already strict hygiene protocols.
Mark Rippon from the Hair and Beauty Industry Association (HBIP) told news.com.au that there’s a strong focus on the safety of workers and clients.
“Salons are disinfecting all frequently touched objects and surfaces continuously throughout the day,” he told the publication. “All staff are using alcohol-based hand sanitisers before and after treatments and have it on hands for customers too.”
Many hairdressers have also binned communal items like magazines and have started using gloves and masks. Some salons have also closed every second chair to ensure 1.5 metres between clients. However, Melbourne-based GP Preeya Alexander says it’s still a dilemma for social distancing.
“This is a tricky one,” Melbourne-based GP Preeya Alexander says. “The first question is, can you maintain a 1.5 metre distance from everyone else?”
Imagine yourself getting a cut, colour or blow dry and the answer is probably not.
“Right now we in the medical community are heavily advocating for people not to mingle, to cancel non essential gatherings to ‘flatten the curve’ and stop COVID-19 from rapidly spreading,” Dr Alexander explains.
“So, it’s a personal decision but staying away right now, avoiding others is key to stopping this virus from spreading.”
So the official verdict? It’s up to you. However, it’s critically important that if you develop a fever, a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath you should cancel your appointment and call your doctor or healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
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