The National Return to Work Safely Protocol is the primary guide for businesses in making their assessments and adapting their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures. It sets out in very clear terms for employers and employees the steps that they must take firstly before a workplace reopens, and then while it continues to operate. The Protocol is available at https://dbei.gov.ie/en/Publications/Return-to-Work-Safely-Protocol.html. The Health and Safety Authority, which is an agency of my Department, is the lead agency in overseeing compliance with the National Return to Work Safely Protocol in the workplace. If employers or employees need further guidance on the Protocol, the HSA Helpline can be contacted at 1890 289 389 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In response to their requests, my predecessor, Ms Heather Humphreys, T.D., Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation met with members of the hairdressing and beauty industry via teleconference on 7th May, 20th May and 16th June. The Minister requested that, where sectors are developing return to work protocols or guides, they should work together to align this work.
On 5th June the Irish Hairdressing Federation submitted their protocol to the Minister who duly forwarded it to the then Minister for Health and to the HSE, for consideration. The document, which was developed and supported by the Irish Hairdressers Federation, the Hair and Beauty Industry Confederation (HABIC), the Hairdressing Council of Ireland, Synergy Hair Group and the Barber Society of Ireland, was drawn up with reference to the National Return to Work Safely Protocol.
On June 19, the Government, having considered the expert public health advice provided by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), approved the rephasing of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business. Apart from some exceptions, most sectors have been brought forward to Phase 3, which began on Monday 29th June.
Under the rephased Roadmap, hairdressers, barbers, nail and brow salons, beauty salons, spas, make-up application services, tanning, tattooing and piercing services can reopen on 29 June. Full details are available at www.gov.ie/en/news/58bc8b-taoiseach-announces-roadmap-for-reopening-society-and-business-and-u/.
As we move forward on reopening of society and business, it is important to note that all decisions taken by Government on the timing of any lifting of the remaining restrictions will be informed by the public health advice at the time.