New Delhi: The Maharashtra government on Sunday began taking baby steps towards reopening barber shops, salons and spas under the state’s ‘Mission Begin Again Phase IV’ as well as nationwide ‘Unlock’ process of easing coronavirus lockdown. Also Read - China Did Not Report COVID-19 Outbreak in Initial Stages, WHO Takes U-Turn

“I thank govt for allowing us to reopen. We sanitise every equipment before their use. Salon is also sanitised every 2 hours… We will record customer’s temperatures and provide them with hand sanitisers when they enter our shop. We will use a new towel and haircut seat for each customer,” a salon owner told news agency ANI. Also Read - Gautam Buddh Nagar News: COVID-19 Helpline in Noida Receives Around 400 Calls Daily

Hairstylists are working wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) kits like masks, gloves and full bodysuits. Only ‘use and throw’ products are being used and no customer is allowed without prior appointment, the salon owner said. Also Read - Tamil Nadu Crosses Grim Milestone of 1 Lakh COVID Cases With 4,329 Fresh Infections; Death Toll Over 1300

State Relief and Rehabilitation Minister Vijay Wadettiwar said that during the state cabinet meeting held on Thursday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray agreed to allow the salons to reopen with adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs) about hygiene and cleanliness.

The minister said that he raised the issue in the cabinet meeting and the chief minister agreed that the salons could reopen from June 28 with conditions about the SOPs.

The salon operators had earlier demanded that they be allowed to do their business or else the government provide them a financial package. As many as 12 barbers have committed suicide in the last three months due to financial losses suffered due to the lockdown.