Appeal for permission to open for beauty businesses

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Lineo Ramatlapeng

A rights group, Development for Peace Education joined hands this week with businessmen and women in the beauty industry in a plea demanding the National COVID-19 Secretariat to authorize their re-opening.

When the current national COVID-19 color-coded stages of lockdown were introduced and with orange the current stage, beauty spas and saloons were listed together with liquor stores as business that should not operate.

With increasing numbers of COVID-19 recorded in Lesotho, beauty shops were said to be among high-risk places with a higher risk of infection spreading, resulting in their closure.

George Mando, an owner of a saloon, said their ill-fate started a few weeks ago when Prime Minister Majoro and NACOSEC introduced stages indicated by colors for COVID-19.

Mando adds it later came to their attention that according to the orange stage beauty shops are to remain closed and they felt like that was not fair for them to close their shops.

Mando emphasized their main request is that the government and NACOSEC should revisit the document where it states that they are at a higher risk to spreading the virus.

“As businessmen and women in beauty we believe we have been practicing hygiene even before COVID-19,” said Mando.

While explaining how they operate, Mando mentioned that they practice social distancing and use gloves when attending clients especially nail technicians.

Mando said that it looks like the virus will be here for a while, “we need to learn to live with it and they need to work to survive”.

Sofonea Shale, the rights group’s National Coordinator said they also took this matter to the Prime Minister’s office since he was at the forefront of the introduction of the color-coded lockdown stages.

Shale adds their pleas have also been submitted to the Health Ministry as the leading ministry in the fight against COVID-19 spread.

Shale said the beauty shop owners made a suggestion to NACOSEC to have a call center that their clients will report to if they do not adhere to precaution measures.

Mosiuoa Tšupa, a beauty shop owner explained that as businessmen and women, they also contribute to the country’s economy as they have employees who would be unemployed.

Tšupa called upon Basotho to support them in their slogan calling for saloons to be reopened.

Tšupa said they are not making their request with malice or ignorance, they understand the risks associated with their opening businesses and they are willing to do everything that is needed of them.

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