Tamil Nadu government on Monday issued an order allowing barber shops and salons in rural areas to reopen from Tuesday; with an exception on those coming under the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) limits, municipal corporations, municipalities and town panchayats. Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami issued a press release saying the state government has considered the requests of the barbers into consideration and have decided to order for their shops to reopen on May 19.

Coronavirus lockdown | Barber shops to reopen only in Tamil Nadu's rural areas from May 19Coronavirus lockdown | Barber shops to reopen only in Tamil Nadu's rural areas from May 19

The press release has also laid emphasis on physical distancing to be maintained by both the barbers and the customers visiting their shops. Barbers have advised to wear hand gloves, face masks and wash hands with soap on a frequent basis. Furthermore, orders have been issued for the barbers to have their shops cleaned and sanitised with disinfectants for at least five times a day. Separate guidelines will be issued by the government to the shops to ensure proper sanitation as well.

Coronavirus lockdown | Barber shops to reopen only in Tamil Nadu's rural areas from May 19Coronavirus lockdown | Barber shops to reopen only in Tamil Nadu's rural areas from May 19

Barber shops being allowed to reopen in rural areas is among the few relaxations that have been allowed after the nationwide lockdown's extension for the fourth time, in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association has been demanding the state government for barber shops to be allowed to reopen with protocols as most of them are self-employed and are being pushed to financial constraints.

Coronavirus lockdown | Barber shops to reopen only in Tamil Nadu's rural areas from May 19Coronavirus lockdown | Barber shops to reopen only in Tamil Nadu's rural areas from May 19