(Photo by Mikhail TereshchenkoTASS via Getty Images)
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repealed his government’s restriction, mandating hair appointments go no longer than 30 minutes.
- Citing problems with its “practical implementation”, Morrison wound back the limit minutes before many around the country were due to open. It maintains the rule mandating one person per four square metres, however.
- It comes as the Federal Government faces criticism over its mixed-messaging around the coronavirus and its various restrictions.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
The government has performed a complete turnaround on one of its coronavirus restrictions, just hours after announcing it to the public.
Releasing a statement at around 8 am on Thursday morning, just minutes before many hairdressers and barbers would have begun opening around the country for the first time under the new rules, the Federal Government revealed one of its most heavily-criticised restrictions was dead in the water.
“Following the receipt of feedback on the practical implementation of measures announced regarding barbers and hairdressers it was agreed by Premiers and Chief Ministers at National Cabinet last night that the instruction regarding 30 minutes per patron will be lifted, effective immediately,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, rolling back a restriction that had been effective since midnight. “[But] the 4 square metre rule per person must be strictly observed within the premises and that personal contact during the patron’s visit should be minimised wherever possible.”
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 25, 2020
The decision came after many hairdressers, barbers, and customers pointed out hair appointments for women and those with more complex hairstyles often require several hours. That’s not to mention how such a practice is enforced, or why 30 minutes – twice the period health authorities say can lead to transmission of COVID-19 – was deemed an effective restriction in the first place.
So if getting hair coloured is way longer than 30 minutes… can you get the colour in… leave the shop.. walk around the streets is a socially distant way… then go back in and reset clock? #hairdressers
— Matt Wordsworth (@MattWordsworth) March 24, 2020
In the same statement, Morrison also conceded state and territory governments may grant exceptions to funeral attendance limits of 10 people but would only do so “at the margin” – meaning in exceptional circumstances.
It comes as the government faces criticism for its messaging surrounding the coronavirus and the restrictions it has implemented to contain its spread.
This is such poor messaging from the Australian government.
It's far too late for "Stay home if sick". Just tell us all to "stay home". https://t.co/cF9IwPUSCI
— Kate Walton (@waltonkate) March 24, 2020
Federal, state and territory governments will meet again on Friday to discuss further measures.
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