Beauty service providers are facing a further loss of income and will be missing a crucial time period that cannot be recovered in the summer months, Fashion Association Malta has warned. 

The group expressed its disappointment in a statement issued following the Prime Minister’s press conference on Wednesday, announcing the relaxation of some COVID-19 measures over the coming weeks. 

While schools are set to begin a staggered return to physical schooling on Monday, the reopening of non-essential shops and services are set to open in three weeks time on April 26, while bars and restaurants have been left in the dark. 

“The association disapproves of the decision taken by authorities to keep hair stylists, beauty therapists and nail technicians closed until April 26, despite these businesses being constrained by strict measures that they have followed to the letter,” they said. 

“This is in light of the fact that such businesses are part of a sector that strictly follows absolute hygiene protocols," the association said, adding that these businesses had never been linked to the spread of the virus.

It added that the ongoing closure of these businesses is interfering with crucial months for revenue, as certain services cannot be provided during the summer. 

These sectors, it said, had only been given a wage supplement, contrary to other sectors which were granted funds to cover other costs. "This wage supplement has effectively served only to pay the rent of these businesses.” 

FAM lambasted health authorities for "taking decisions without consultation" and warned that these decisions could lead to job losses and business closures.

“The fashion industry is in favour of any decision made to put a stop to the pandemic, but authorities must be open to consultation, especially in an industry that they have no experience in, as we could have reached the same goals without any job losses,” it said.

 

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