Hairdressers, and their customers, are happy they can open for business again under a further easing of lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa announced changes to the level 3 restrictions on Wednesday June 18.
Casinos, cinemas, theatres, beauty salons and restaurants for sit-down meals can also open as can accredited and licensed accommodation but not home-based accommodation such as Airbnb, conferences and meetings for business purposes.
Non-contact sports such as golf, cricket and tennis are also allowed.
The date from which the easing of restrictions will start has yet to be announced.
The president said some 500 000 people, many of them women, worked in the affected industries before lockdown.
“We have taken this decision with due care and seriousness, appreciating the risks associated with each activity and the measures needed to manage those risks,” he said.
“We have had to think about these people and those who depend on them for their livelihoods.Through the easing of the lockdown we are continuing to balance our overriding objective of saving lives and preserving livelihoods.”
Melissa Wedscer, 32, has worked at a hair salon for about 11 years. She is excited to return to work but anxious about Covid-19.
“I haven’t been able to earn an income, so it’s been difficult as my parents depend on me. While I’m happy to go back, I am a bit scared. Winter is a slow period for hairdressers, but hopefully business will pick up. We are just waiting on the dates as to when we can open.”
Monique Meintjies, 26, who does house calls, said lockdown had been hard because she had not been able to work at all.
“I’m very happy that the ban has been lifted. My clients can’t wait for me to come, they are quite happy that I can operate again,” she said.
Meegan Hendricks, who usually has her hair done weekly, said she was thrilled that she could soon return to the salon. “I can’t do hair so this is a huge relief for me. I like my normal blow and flat iron. In the industry that I work in I always have to look good and presentable so I really like that it can open,” she said.