Echuca hairdresser shuts shops amid coronavirus pandemic

By Ivy Jensen

AN ECHUCA hairdresser is calling on people to take coronavirus more seriously, with countless customers ignoring the restrictions.

Although hairdressers have not been told to close amid the public health crisis, Maree Wilcock said there was no way she could keep her three hair shops open while keeping staff and clients safe.

“I shut early Monday as I believe I can't keep anyone safe no matter how good our hygienic practices are,” she said.

“I've been in the industry for 45 years, so I know about germs and hygiene. We clean the chairs after each visit and have clean wraps etc but it's the people coming in who are keeping us in danger.

“I've had customers come in who have been overseas and want to have their hair cut before they go into self isolation.

“I wonder how many other places they have been in the community before self-isolating?

“We have been separating chairs but people still huddle together to chat.

“I now have to close because I can't control what other people are doing and the safety of our staff and customers is paramount.”

Maree, who owns Gem Hair Design for Men, Gordon's Hairoom and High St Barber, has had to put off about eight staff until further notice.

She has placed several notices on the doors of her shops, one of which states: As we take this coronavirus seriously and lots of people don't and put our staff and the elderly relatives in danger, we will be closing our doors until further notice. If people would take the quarantine seriously if they had been overseas or in contact with coronavirus or had symptoms we wouldn't have to go these drastic measures.

“The sooner people get through their heads that they have to distance themselves from others, stay home if they have been overseas or if they are sick, the sooner it will end,” she said.

“I have heard of people from overseas going to the clubs around town. They should be isolating themselves first. They're the people who keep the virus going.

“We need to get everyone on board. The sooner people are at home isolating, the sooner we'll get through this and we can get back to our daily routine and jobs.”