Women defy social distancing advice, cram into nail salons for treatment before coronavirus lockdown

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has passed a new set of directives ordering beauty salons to shut down from March 25 midnight

                            Women defy social distancing advice, cram into nail salons for treatment before coronavirus lockdown
(Getty Images)

Nail salons in Australia seem to be ignoring social distancing guidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic as they continue to remain open with several women rushing to avail their services.

It is also alleged that the salons were overwhelmed with a last-minute rush of clients desperate for beauty treatments before strict rules come into force to combat the pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on March 24 passed a new set of directives, including social distancing, ordering beauty salons to shut shop from March 25 midnight. Similarly, hairdressers have been asked to limit sessions with their clients to 30 minutes.

However, two nail shops in the upmarket Sydney suburb of Double Bay were allegedly found ignoring the directives as they were packed with women getting pedicures and manicures side-by-side.

When confronted by Daily Mail Australia, USA Nails manager Tina Nguyen said they were turning women away because of the directives. However, photos from the salon depicted a different story, the outlet reported. 

It also added that during the 11 am rush on March 25, nine women sat side-by-side receiving the final treatment hours before the lockdown. Nguyen also seemed a bit confused about the social distancing rule as she said they were complying with it despite having more than one client in a four sqm area. “We have had to refuse customers and tell them to come back so we can keep the (required) distance. We can't have everyone in the shop, we have to keep the distance. They are rushing in to get their nails cleaned before we shut,' she said.

“I think it's a very good idea (to maintain social distancing). I think they should lock it down, we are all out of a job from tomorrow so what's the difference?”

The story was the same in Le Nails Day Spa and Beauty. The salon allowed women of different ages to sit next to each other on massage recliner chairs or at tables where they received beauty services.

Meanwhile, there were a few hair salons that remained open. One of them was Antler Hair in Bondi owned by Rahil Zadeh. She said that after the Prime Minister’s address, she had to call three of her employees to tell them they no longer had a job.

“I had to call all my staff last night to tell them (the bad news) because with half-hour appointments we are not going to be able to accommodate our clients. I would do around 120 clients a week, but my business has dropped 70 percent this week. We all want to keep safe and keep everyone else safe, but from tomorrow I won't be able to make any money, I won't be able to pay rent, I can't keep the doors open,” Zadeh said.

However, this was not the case with all the salons as some have already shut shop due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 2,136 positive coronavirus cases in Australia as of March 24.

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