By YOURI KEMP
Tribune Business Reporter
BARBERS and beauty salons were yesterday said to be “rebounding very strongly” from previous COVID-19 restrictions as more professionals return to work in the sector.
Anton Minnis, vice-president of the Bahamian Cosmetologists and Barbers Association (BCBA), told Tribune Business the industry has embraced more hygienic practices in an effort to ensure the continued health and well-being of staff.
“Things have really taken off to another level. They were good to begin with because we were able to have the downturn of pseudofolliculitis (irritation caused by shaving) in males and alopecia with females. We’ve had a lot of that come down considerably. So the industry is doing its part to keep the standard of health high in the country, and we’re looking forward to bigger and better things to come,” he said.
Barbers and beauty shops were hit hard by the COVID-19 lockdowns and associated restrictions that lasted well into 2021, and endured a protracted recovery due to sluggish demand. But, as COVID protocols have been relaxed, barbers and beauticians are breathing a little easier this year.
Mr Minnis added: “Barbers are even coming back into the shops. The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) is doing an excellent job of training people, so we are having a lot of success right now in the industry.”
Many employees were forced out of the industry when COVID restrictions made it impossible for them to maintain a physical business location. Because they operate in close proximity to their customers, fears of so-called community spread via barbers and beauty shops meant pandemic-related protocols were relaxed very slowly.
Mr Minnis said: “We’ve had people close their doors and started a mobile business, because a brick and mortar business became tedious for them and they couldn’t catch up. But some of them are rebounding, and rebounding very strong. They are coming back.
“Freeport is rebounding soundly, but we’re still having conversations with our members to see what we can do to help with the rebound, especially when it comes to us having more of a hygienic presence in terms of the sanitation and infection prevention in controlled areas. The industry is doing this. The beauty trade and industry in this country is working along with the Ministry of Health to bring about standards and procedures to help with infection prevention and control.”
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