Less talk at this barber as he goes extra mile to ensure safety

Son and Dad Barbershop boss Elyas Yunoos attending to a customer in full protective gear in George Town. Watching him is Penang Island City Council’s environmental health and licensing officer Bavani Murugesan (left). 

GEORGE TOWN: Talk less. A barbershop in Penang has taken this extra step to ensure the spread of Covid-19 is kept to the minimum after being allowed to reopen for business today after a three-month hiatus.

Elyas Yunoos, owner of The Son and Dad Barbershop, on Acheen Street, said he was concerned for the safety of his customers.

“Customers like to exchange opinions and stories with us when having their haircuts or a shave. But now things have changed. Talking can spread germs.”

Even before the SOPs were introduced for reopening barber shops, Elyas had been particular about using a particular type of liquid to sterilise all his tools.

All of his eight barbers now have to wear face masks, face shields, a disposable apron and single-use plastic gloves.

“All these make our work harder but we will follow the SOPs for the good of the customers. The face shield blurs our view, the gloves make it difficult to grip our cutters and combs. We take a longer time to finish,” he told FMT when met today.

Elyas said all haircuts are strictly through appointments through an app which has been in practice even before the lockdown began.

Customers waiting for up to an hour at a barbershop on Hutton Lane in George Town today.

“We are expanding to the top floor so as to meet the social distancing requirements under the SOPs.”

Prices, too, remain unchanged at RM25 because Elyas last increased rates early this year.

Some other barbers are charging an extra RM2 to RM5 to cover the cost of the disposable items they need to use.

Checks at a barbershop on Hutton Lane showed a long queue. Ten people were seated outside.

A haircut costs RM10 and a shave an extra RM5.

A supervisor at another shop said the prices have gone up by RM2 for each service, taking into account the cost of the personal protective equipment.

Pensioner K Ravi, 61, of Fettes Park, said he had to wait outside his favourite barbershop for close to an hour. He didn’t mind the wait as he has not had a haircut in three months.

Barbers, hairdressers and beauty services reopened today under the Recovery Movement Control Order, which began today.

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