Beauty parlours shut ‘through no fault of their own’

The chairman of the Federation of Beauty Industry, Nelson Ip, said there was anger and shock in his trade over a government decision to shut down beauty parlours for two weeks.

Speaking on an RTHK programme on Thursday, Ip questioned why beauty parlours have to shut when no one was infected there, adding that the government never consulted the sector before the announcement on Wednesday.

“We feel that every time it’s us and 10 or so other sectors that have to make sacrifices,” he said.

“Over the past one to two years, the chief executive and some former officials have repeatedly praised the beauty industry for its work fighting the virus. We’ve maintained zero infections so far, so we never expected that we would have to close again.”

Ip said the beauty sector is now “in chaos”, as many establishments had already been fully booked in the period leading up to the Chinese New Year.

He added if the curbs remain in force during the holiday, his sector would likely lose more than HK$3 billion.

Ip called on the government to provide short-term subsidies for beauty parlours so they could pay their staff before the Chinese New Year.

Beauty parlours, bars and gyms are among 15 types of venues ordered shut for two weeks from Friday as the government tightened social-distancing measures to try to stem the spread of the Omicron variant.