HAIRDRESSER BACKFLIP, FUNERAL RULES EASED

The 30-minute time limit on hairdressing appointments has been lifted.

Hairdressers were initially told appointments could be no longer than half an hour, under the stage two lockdown measures.

The backflip on haircuts comes into effect immediately, but stylists are asked to minimise personal contact and enforce indoor distancing rules.

Hair We Are owner Heidi Boyle says she will keep the doors of her Hamilton salon open until she is forced to close.

“A sigh of relief today but who knows what tomorrow will bring,” Ms Boyle said.

“We had to let a girl go yesterday, and today we have two hairdressers working.”

The phone at Hair We Are has been ringing off the hook this morning, following the announcement.

But Heidi remains concerned about the days to come and a lack of clarity from the government.

“I think people are confused and they are not sure what to do, we have people making appointments and then cancelling,” she said.

“We’re just trying to get as many people through today before the situation changes again.”

However, Australian Hairdressing Council CEO Sandy Chong has called the decision outrageous.

“I think that the chief medical officer decision is irresponsible to 40,000 hairdressers and barbers by not considering their own safety,” Ms Chong said.

“We want hairdressing salons to close, we want our communities to be safe, we don’t want the government to make roller-coaster decisions on our businesses.”

Ms Chong has stood down all her staff at Suki Hair, which has been in operation in Newcastle for 35 years, and says all salons across the country should do the same.

“We’re concerned for our safety, our staffs families, our clients and the community,” she said.

“I think the government is making it very difficult for us, because it does get complicated around fair work.”

Funeral rules have also been relaxed with states and territories permitted to provide exemptions for attendance numbers.

The announcement followed the death of two Victorians which brought the national COVID-19 death toll to 11.