The government will not allow the reopening of barber shops and hair salons during the Movement Control Order (MCO).

According to Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin made the decision following the advice of health experts and authorities, as well as NGOs and the public.

"We are aware that the decision to allow hair salons and barbershops to operate has been an issue.

"The government listens to the people and in line with this, the prime minister has decided not to allow these businesses to operate throughout the MCO," Ismail was quoted saying by The Star.

Earlier, it was reported that the government may allow the reopening of barber shops and hair salons in green zones, which are areas with zero COVID-19 cases.

This was part of the government's pledge to reopen certain business sectors, including optometrists, manned laundrettes and traditional medicine shops, in stages, during the third phase of the MCO, which ends on April 28.

Hair salon operators, however, have cut short talks of reopening their business amid the pandemic.

Selangor and Federal Territories Indian Hairstylists Association chairman Ganathiban Murugan told FMT that it is the "wrong time" to reopen for business.

"In supermarkets, people have to stand at least 1m away from each other, but to cut hair we have to come into close contact with our customers. How do we keep a safe distance from them?

"We do not know who has the virus. My suggestion is that we do not open shop for now, it is the wrong time," he was quoted saying.

Waiting out until after the MCO ends was a better option, he added.

COVID-19 has thus far infected 4,683 people in Malaysia, and killed 76.

Source: The Star, FMT
Photo source: Astro Awani