French hairdressers to reopen from May 11th – but with strict rules

In good news for those of us who are looking a little feral after seven weeks of lockdown, French hairdressers can reopen after May 11th, but only under strict conditions.

French hairdressers to reopen from May 11th - but with strict rules
Masks will be compulsory for hairdressers and client. Photo: AFP

Phrase begins phase 1 of lifting lockdown on May 11th, and among the workplaces that are allowed to reopen are hairdressers.

The government's directive is that businesses can reopen, but they must put in place all measures possible to ensure that social distancing and hygiene gestures are respected.

IN DETAIL This is the plan for life after lockdown in France

In order to preserve social distancing and keep both staff and clients safe, the system for getting a trim will be rather different to normal.

After May 11th

May 11th falls on a Monday, when many salons are closed. Hairdresser Franck Provost, president of the hairdressers organisation Conseil National des Entreprises de coiffure suggested that many salons will use the next few days to train their staff in the new rules.

He told RTL radio: “We have to train the staff to disinfect the equipment, which we were already doing, in each place. All this has to be prepared and organised. Hopefully, we should be good for the 11th.”

Appointments only

It's common for hairdressers in France to operate sans rendez-vous or on a walk-in basis.

But when a recent survey showed that 59 percent of French people want to visit a salon after lockdown ends, there could be something of a rush.

To keep crowds to a minimum, hairdressers will only accept people who have booked in advance, either online or on the phone.

Compulsory masks

The hairdresser or barber must wear a mask, but they will also be compulsory for customers and you must bring your own – hairdressers will not be in a position to distribute masks.

Single-use gowns

The fabric gowns that hairdressers wrap around their clients must either be washed after every use or replaced with single-use paper or plastic ones.

Hairdressers must also ensure than customers are at least one metre apart.

Some salons are also considering offering only short appointments – so no colours or perms – at first in order to limit contact time.

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France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

France's public health body has outlined how Covid-19 rules will change on February 1st, including an end to compulsory self-isolation after a positive test result.

France scraps compulsory self-isolation after positive Covid test

Starting on February 1st, Covid rules will relax in France as the country ends compulsory isolation for those who test positive for the virus.

However, those travelling from China to France will still be required to agree to a random screening upon arrival and to isolate in the case of a positive Covid-19 test result. Travellers aged 11 and over coming from China must also provide a negative test result (less tan 48 hours) prior to boarding and those aged six and over must agree to wear a mask on board flights. These regulations – which was set to last until January 31st – is set to remain in place until February 15th.

The French public health body (The Direction générale de la santé or DGS)  announced the change on Saturday in a decree published in the “Journal Officiel” outlining the various ways the body will loosen previous coronavirus restrictions.

READ MORE: What Covid rules and recommendations remain for visiting France?

Those who were in contact with someone who tested positive – ie a contact cases – will also no longer be required to take a test, though the public health body stressed that both testing after contact and isolating after receiving a positive test remain recommended.

Previously, even asymptomatic people who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for Covid-19 were required to test on the second day after being notified that they were a “contact-case”.

These changes will take effect on February 1st.

READ MORE: What changes in France in February 2023?

The DGS also said that website SI-DEP, which records test results, will remain in operation until June 30th, however starting in February it will only collect personal data with the express permission of the patient.

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Additionally, the French government announced that sick leave procedures for people with Covid-19 will return to normal on February 1st – this means that those who test positive for Covid-19 will have the three-day wait period before daily sick benefits are required to be paid, as is usually the case. Previously, people with Covid-19 could expect daily sick benefits to begin at the start of their sick leave period (arrêt maladie in French).  

READ MORE: How sick leave pay in France compares to other countries in Europe

Covid tests are still available on walk-in basis from most pharmacies are are free to people who are fully vaccinated and registered in the French health system. Unvaccinated people, or visitors to France, have to pay up to a maximum of €22 for an antigen test of €49 for a PCR test. 

If you recently tested positive for Covid-19 in France – or you suspect you may have contracted Covid-19 – you can find some information for how to proceed here.

In explaining the changes that will begin in February, the French public health body also noted a drop in Covid-19 infections in the past month. As of January 30th, approximately 3,800 people in France had tested positive in the previous 24 hours for the coronavirus – which represents a decrease from the averages of 20,000 new cases per day about one month ago.