- Barbers in Hanoi and HCMC are going to customers’ homes to make a living as their shops remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
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For a month now Nguyen Thai Hoang, 27, a hairdresser in Hanoi’s Long Bien District, has had his business disrupted, and he has begun to visit his customers instead. He told: “Since the city ordered salons to close we have no choice but to provide services at our customers’ homes. It’s the only way we earn a living amid the pandemic.”
His monthly income of around VND10 million ($435) has fallen by 90 percent after the fourth wave of Covid hit Vietnam two months ago.
On a Facebook group with 1,400 members in Hanoi, there are around 20 posts every day by barbers offering to visit customers’ houses for VND50,000-100,000 plus transportation.
“We’ll bring mirrors, masks, protective shields, and rubber gloves to ensure your safety,” one post by a salon in Thanh Xuan District with 20 barbers said.
“Our job is the same but we have to travel a lot more so it is more challenging,” a barber in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District who asked not be identified said.
“We still have to pay rents so this is the best we can do while we wait for everything to reopen.”
Many people have not had a proper haircut since the end of April when everything closed.
“No salon near my building is open, so I get a barber to come and trim my hair in the hallway of my apartment,” Le Manh Hung, who lives in Hoang Mai District, said.
“It was uncomfortable to have neighbors walk by and stare, but I got what I needed.”
On social media there are also many offers for nail, spa and skincare services.
In HCMC’s Tan Binh District, last month Mai had to shut her hair and nail salon, which is the main source of income for her family.
“I had to ask for time to pay rent,” the 40-year-old woman said. She has been providing customers hairdressing and nail services at home to earn some money.
However, authorities have expressed concern about this. Nguyen Hong Tam, deputy director of the HCMC Center for Disease Control, said people cannot maintain a minimum distance of two meters when doing hair and nails, and therefore this is a violation of Covid-19 regulations.
“Going to customers’ homes means shops are still operating, and this is also a violation,” he told Phap Luat HCMC newspaper.
But hairdressers are concerned about putting food on the table for their family. Hoang, who has to take care of his mother and grandmother, has three customers booked for tomorrow and he has no intention of canceling them.
“It’s good I still have a job.”
This article was originally posted in @Vnexpress.