The government has instructed shop owners to maintain physical distancing, wear masks and sanitise the shops with disinfectants at least five times a day.

Barber shops allowed to reopen in rural areas of Tamil Nadu from TuesdayFile Image
Coronavirus Coronavirus Monday, May 18, 2020 - 18:45

The Tamil Nadu government has permitted the reopening of barber shops in rural areas from Tuesday, except those which fall under the Greater Chennai police limits and municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayats.

According to a press release issued by the Tamil Nadu government, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami said, “Taking the requests of the barbers into consideration, I have ordered to reopen barber shops from May 19 in rural areas, expect those under the Greater Chennai police, municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayats.”

Barbers as well as members of the public going to the shop should ensure physical distancing. The barbers should wear hand gloves, face masks and wash hands with soap, the release said.

Further, barbers shops must be cleaned and sanitised with disinfectants at least five times a day. Guidelines will be given by the government separately for ensuring sanitation at the shops, the statement said.

On Sunday, the Tamil Nadu government extended the lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 for the fourth consecutive time. In the fourth phase of the lockdown, relaxations such as travel of people without e-passes within the district, functioning of National Rural Employment Guarantee with 100% workforce, evaluation of Class 12 exams and sports persons’ training, has been introduced.

Adding to the relaxations announced on Sunday, the Tamil Nadu government has now allowed barber shops to function.

Members of the Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association have been demanding the government reopen barber shops with protocols since most of barbers are self-employed and the lack of work could push them to debt-ridden situations.

On May 7, the Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association and the family of a barber who killed himself in Chennai staged a protest in front of the Royapettah Government Hospital mortuary, demanding the government provide compensation for the death. Barani (38) took his life on May 6 as he was unable to pay rent for his shop and his house in Taramani due to the lockdown.

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