The Melbourne Metropolitan area has been put under Stage 4 lockdown, with closures across almost all industries, a curfew from 8pm every night and tighter restrictions across the city as the area battles elevated COVID-19 stats. As such, unfortunately, hair salons in Melbourne will have to close. The rules for salons come into effect on Wednesday August 5 at 11:59pm.

Victorian premier Dan Andrews announced the new protocols for businesses at a press conference on August 3. Categorising businesses into three groups, essential stores such as supermarkets, petrol stations, banks and pharmacies will remain open, while some industries, such as construction and meat processing, will be largely scaled back. The retail sector has been shut down in full, other than click and collect services, which extends to the hair salon industry. Cafes, restaurants and bottle shops will remain open for takeaway and delivery.

The six weeks of Stage 4 lockdown are currently meant to end on September 13. Salons in regional Victoria, which will be in Stage 3 lockdown from Thursday August 6, will be able to remain open. Mitchell Shire will remain in Stage 3 lockdown. Everyone in Victoria is required to wear a mask when not at home.

Businesses in Melbourne that are forced to close can apply for a $5000 grant on top of any money they’ve already received from the government. Apply for the grant here.

It’s a devastating blow for the city and the hairdressing industry, which had nationally been deemed essential and allowed to stay open until this State of Disaster. In these challenging times, remember to prioritise your mental health, talk to a professional if necessary, communicate with clients online and via social media, rely on government funds and industry resources, stay informed, stay educated and stay safe.

Talk to your partnered brands, many of which have salon programs and retail initiatives that help the salons’ bottom line, invest in personalised home haircare and colour kits with online tutorials and offer retail products that clients will require for home maintenance in bundled packages, as well as specials, gift cards and service packages for a later date.

If you aren’t in Melbourne, reach out to your fellow industry members, offer support and a word of encouragement. We’re all in this together, and we will get through it with the resilience, innovation and strength the industry has exhibited all year long.