MASERU – As part of sweeping social-distancing measures latest national lockdown restrictions announced hair, nail salons and all other beauty services would be closed, throwing the industry into turmoil – but talks with the National COVID-19 Secretariat (NACOSEC) today are likely to lead to reopening.
Following the order to close shop last month, most small business owners in the industry ignored newly set restrictions and continued operations, leading to a swoop on open businesses by the Lesotho Mounted Police Service. This move led to a meeting between salon owners and civic movement Development for Peace Education on Monday to thrash out issues of concern and embark on a concerted effort to engage the NACOSEC over the reopening of their businesses.
According to the salon operators they approached the COVID-19 response centre earlier to table their grievances and to request a revisit to the legal provisions that affect their sector, where they were advised to communicate officially through a letter to which no response has been received to date.
“We requested the NACOSEC to reconsider its position of categorising hair and beauty salons as high risk places for the spread of COVID-19 infection. We are, to the contrary, operating safe places, we have and use warm running water and wash our hands frequently, practice reasonable social-distancing as a basic rule of conduct. They should have looked thoroughly at how we handle things in our businesses generally before painting us hubs highly likely to spread infection,” said salon owner George Mando.
Mando said with the assistance of the DPE, a meeting will be convened today with the NACOSEC to work out a way around these restrictions in order to reconsider the secretariat’s position and a change in the restrictions.
Lesotho has, to date, reported 742 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 175 of those having recovered. 23 COVID related deaths have also been reported.