The hair salon opened for a few hours this Thursday
A LIMERICK hairdresser has agreed to close her business, having initially opened in defiance of the level 5 Covid-19 restrictions.
Grace O'Shaughnessy, who runs Style and Grace salon in Kilfinane, had planned to keep her doors open until Saturday teatime in order to serve all her clients who had pre-booked appointments.
However, this afternoon, following a visit from the gardai, she has agreed to cease trading, in line with the new restrictions, which direct that all non-essential retailers - including hairdressers - must close.
The restrictions, announced by An Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Tuesday, are in place until December 1.
Grace admits she had wanted to remain open.
“I just had a massive amount of clients with nowhere to move them to. Giving us two days of notice is not enough time to move people. My staff member is out of work at the moment, so I’m by myself. Financially, I couldn’t afford to cancel three days’ work. I’m about to move into a new house, so I have a mortgage and rent at the minute,” she explained.
“No-one is going to give me those three days wages. That’s what it comes down to really. And not letting people down in terms of the plans people have made,” the businesswoman added, “We have to work hard to make the money we do make. We follow the guidelines, and have kept everything clean, so to receive this news was a kick in the teeth.”
She said she knew an effective second lockdown was coming, but was surprised by it’s length.
“I spent a lot of money to re-open to ensure everything was safe. I made a second salon room in the back of the shop that I had. I feel since we’ve re-opened, I’m catching up on my finances, so to close again is a hard blow to my financial situation as well as socially,” she said.
In the town of Kilfinane itself, Grace says coming to the hair salon is an important social outlet for many.
“My clients are really disappointed. They couldn't’ believe it. I have some clients who come every week to have blow drys, and some elderly clients who are not able to wash their own hair any more. For people like that, it is really hard. This might be the only social outing they have at all,” she explained.
Level 5 restrictions kicked in at midnight this morning.