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Barbers set for busy reopening

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Online booking: Kenton Trott, owner of Luxury Cuts Barber Shop

Barbershops and hair salons are braced for a busy reopening — but they could take as long as a year to fully recover from their two-month closures, a barber said yesterday.Kenton Trott, the owner of Luxury Cuts on Reid Street in Hamilton, said the grooming industry would see a lot of clients return in the coming days but could take on only a handful of appointments in a day.He added that much of the money made will likely go to deferred bills that had piled up.Mr Trott said: “Although we’ve been told that we can hold rent off for now, we do have to pay that later.“So I think it’s going to take a few months, maybe even up to a year, to find ourselves back in our groove.”Mr Trott spoke after David Burt, the Premier, announced on Monday that barbers and beauty salons would be open for “limited services” tomorrow during the second phase of reopening Bermuda.They were instructed to accept only scheduled appointments and to take a half-hour in between each appointment to sanitise their workplace.The businesses were also told not to offer facial grooming services such as beard trimming or face cleaning.Mr Trott said his barbershop would open tomorrow and would operate on a strict schedule.He added that tardiness would not be tolerated and any appointments that do not start on time would be rescheduled.Mr Trott expects the next few days to be very busy for himself and other hairstylists.He added: “I have an online booking system that is connected to my e-mail.“Immediately after the Premier announced Phase 2 my e-mail started pinging off.“I think that we’re going to be a business that finds it a little bit easier to survive because a haircut or a hairstyling becomes a bit of something that everyone needs.”Helen Stirling, owner of The Cutting Room, said she would have only two of her four barbers working at the Reid Street barbershop and had removed the chairs in the sitting area.The barbershop will be open for longer to account for the slower working pace and larger volume of customers.Ms Stirling said: “Before we could fit a lot more clients into a shorter day, whereas now our days are going to go well past four.”Ms Stirling said that every client would have their hands sanitised before their appointment and would have to wear a face mask during their haircut.She added that parents would have to wait outside the building if their child had a hair appointment.Ms Stirling said: “Unfortunately, if children aren’t able to sit on their own with their masks on in the chair they may have to wait until the next phase.”Maxine Famous, the owner of Maxilous Salon on Friswells Hill Road in Pembroke, said that she had installed Plexiglas dividers to keep her work stations separated and protected.She added: “All of our staff and clients will be wearing protective gear like masks or face shields, disposable gowns and gloves.”Ms Famous said that clients would be disinfected and have their temperatures taken at the door.Ms Famous added that she would prioritise essential workers and extend her opening hours long enough to help clients and allow staff enough time to return home before the start of curfew. Ms Famous explained: “It could be early in the morning or late at night, but once we’re able to help them one-on-one, we will.”She added: “The setback is that we won’t be able to do as much as we used to, but I’m just grateful that we’re at least able to do something.”

Barbershops and hair salons wait to reopen after more than two months of closure (Photograph by Sekou Hendrickson)