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Salons, barber shops no longer limited to basic hair cutting services — COVID-19 task force

In this May 30 photo, a barber of the Gupitan Barbershop in Quezon City puts up plastic separators between chairs ahead of the resumption of grooming services in Metro Manila.

MANILA, Philippines — The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases on Thursday night allowed barber shops and salons to offer services aside from basic hair cutting in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday made the announcement, saying the IATF removed a clause which limits salons to basic hair cutting services from the community quarantine guidelines.

"The [Department of Trade and Industry] will release guidelines for the gradual resumption of services allowed by minimum public health standards. Things like pedicure, manicure, let's wait for [confirmation]. In principle, these things are allowed but let's wait for DTI guidelines," Roque said in Filipino during his Laging Handa daily briefing.

The presidential spokesperson added that the trade department would also release guidelines on whether massages in these establishments will be allowed to resume.

The trade department on June 7 allowed barbershops and salons to reopen at 30% operational capacity for areas under GCQ and 50% operational capacity for areas under modified GCQ.

Since then, services have been limited to basic haircuts. It remains to be seen which services exactly will be allowed to resume under the new guidelines.

All operational salons and barbershops are required to abide by minimum health standards issued by the trade department.

Most of the country is under either GCQ or an even more relaxed MGCQ — with the exception of Cebu City which is under an enhanced community quarantine.

Metro Manila has been under GCQ since June 1.

As the Philippines continues to be under the longest community quarantine in the world, the Health department on Thursday logged 38,805 cases of novel coronavirus along with a death toll of 1,274.

Researchers from the University of the Philippines estimate that the number of COVID-19 cases in the country could soar to 60,000 by the end of July as the Philippines is still experiencing “significant” community transmission of the illness. — Bella Perez-Rubio

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