Muscat: New barber shops coming up in the city would have to abide by the new rules and health standards announced by the Muscat Municipality.
Municipality authorities have also started making efforts to raise awareness among those running barber shops about the new norms to be enforced.
According to the rules announced by the Muscat Municipality, all barber shops must be equipped with tables and appropriate mirrors, hand wash basins attached with a hot water source, and the cleaners and sanitizers meant for hair cutting equipment should also be according to set standards.
Similarly, there should be three seats in the waiting area for customers for every single chair meant for a patron receiving a haircut. Workers should wear clean white jackets during their work. First aid box with all important medical supplies should be kept ready. For hair dying, there should be separate space in the shops, according to a statement issued by the municipality.
Article 4 of the rules for first category barber shops says that they must have 16 square metres of waiting area for customers. It should be decorated well. The chair or sofa should be of high quality. The premises should also be equipped with entertainment equipment like TV and should have the facility of serving chilled drinking water to customers.
The haircutting room should not be less than 30 square metres and all the chairs should be separated with a partition.
The hair cutting room should have sufficient space so that all the chairs should be placed at a distance of at least one-and-a-half metre from each other. All chairs must have separate washbasins and sterilisation facility for towels.
If there is a washroom, it should conform to norms of the public health authorities and should not have direct entrance from the haircutting room.
The second category barbershops should not have less than 20 square metres of space. Chairs should be put at least one-and-a- half metres away from each other. Waiting customers should be seated behind the chair where a patron sits and whose job is hair cut.
Rules for barbers
The waiting customers should be seated at least two metres away.
Similarly, those who have a licence for the purpose can have separate waiting rooms.
Also, use of any chemical substances is not allowed unless expressly permitted.
Muscat Municipality has started an awareness drive in all the existing barbershops also about all the rules and regulations.
According to a statement, so far, 255 barbershops of second category in Ruwi, Muttrah, Hamriyah, Al Wadi Al Kabir and greater Muttrah have been covered by the awareness campaign.
Muscat Municipality officials are communicating with the barbers in Arabic, English and Urdu.