It is another COVID-19 announcement week. Could you genuinely put your hand on your heart and say you know exactly what the current restrictions are? I couldn’t.
The clarity of the initial lockdown is long gone and the move to Levels 1-5 always seemed more fluid and confusing. I know we are in Level 5, but it appears to be Level 5 “light”. The latest easing making it Level 5 “even lighter”.
I was very happy to part with this money and to see the mad search for boots, shin guards, shorts and helmets ahead of training
There are certain things I do know without having to look them up. I know that golf clubs are open because my husband has taken a day off and the clubs are in the hall ready to go. I know that underage sport is restarting as the few bob was requested by the GAA. I was very happy to part with this money and to see the mad search for boots, shin guards, shorts and helmets ahead of training.
A notification on my phone told me that some other things are being considered for reopening in May so I looked up the Citizens Information (CI)website. Construction is to get a full reopening, while non-essential and outdoor retail, such as garden centres, are getting a phased return (not 100% clear what that means).
The grapevine suggests that hospitality may open in June but CI offers no update on that. I marvel at the resilience of Irish businesses.
The big one for many people is the reopening of hairdressers, beauticians and nail salons
Recent research from Love Irish Food and PwC says that 75% of Irish food small and medium enterprises (SMEs) expect revenue growth in the year ahead, despite COVID-19 and Brexit challenges. Of the companies surveyed, 69% consider the Republic of Ireland as their most important territory for growth.
The big one for many people is the reopening of hairdressers, beauticians and nail salons. There is more ambiguous terminology to describe this reopening with personal services set to restart on a “staggered basis”. COVID-19 has bred some distrust into us. When I see someone now with perfectly manicured nails or a shiny mane, I get a bit suspicious, once the initial jealousy subsides. I do not automatically think that she is good at doing her nails/hair, or that someone in her bubble must be a nail technician/hairdresser. I think of the black market.
I think most people had some sympathy for Christine McTiernan, the beauty salon owner who opened in February
And according to a press release from the Irish Spa Association, this particular segment of the economy is booming. They said that they are contacted weekly with reports of these treatments being carried out in homes with large waiting lists.
I think most people had some sympathy for Christine McTiernan, the beauty salon owner who opened in February to be immediately closed down by the gardaí. She said she had to open for her business to survive, but I wonder how much of her panic was down to her customers going elsewhere. I get my nails done in Kilkenny. Ever before COVID-19, the technicians wore masks to protect themselves from the dust. When they reopened last year, Perspex screens had been fitted at all the tables and around the pedicure baths.
Would I have been tempted? Yes, I would. Would I have gone? No
I texted them when I got that press release to ask when they would reopen. The response: “We are awaiting Government advice, can’t wait to see you.” If the response had been: “Salon not open but you can come to my house,” would I have been tempted? Yes, I would. Would I have gone? No.
Personal services are of course not the only part of the economy where the black market is operating. This will put additional pressure on businesses when they do reopen and the revenue implications could cost us all in the end.