New guidelines which forced hair stylists and barbers to limit each appointment to just 30 minutes have been scrapped, after Australian hair professionals criticised the measure to limit the community spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a statement released this morning, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the National Cabinet agreed last night to bin the rule, which came into effect at midnight.

“Following the receipt of feedback on the practical implementation of measures announced regarding barbers and hairdressers it was agreed by Premiers and Chief Ministers at National Cabinet last night that the instruction regarding 30 minutes per patron will be lifted (effective immediately),” Morrison said.

However, hair professionals are still required to provide four square metres of floor space for each person inside the premises, and have been asked to observe social distancing rules as much as possible.

The 30-minute rule, which was announced by Morrison on Tuesday night along with a suite of crackdowns on non-essential industries, was met with confusion and scepticism by stylists and barbers across Australia.

Melanie Coombes, national organiser of industry union Hair Stylists Australia, yesterday told ABC Radio the measures limited the capacity of stylists to, you know, do their job.

Primarily, Coombes said it would be difficult for stylists to apply colour treatments — a primary source of income for many Australian salons.

PEDESTRIAN.TV understands several hair stylists were planning to pre-mix dyes for their customers to use at home in an attempt to circumvent the half-hour restriction.

“The majority of the industry is going to struggle with that 30-minute time management,” she said.

“Although, I think we’ll be able to pull through quite well, because any hairdresser who has worked through Christmas can bloody pull off anything.”

Other beauty therapy industries, including nail salons and businesses which offer waxing services, will remain closed until further notice.

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