A respiratory medicine and public health expert said on Thursday that requiring staff working at beauty parlours to wear face masks will not be enough to protect them from the coronavirus, as shown by a beautician becoming infected after she came in contact with a Covid-19 patient.
Dr Leung Chi-chiu, the chairman of the advisory committee on communicable diseases at the Hong Kong Medical Association, said like various other businesses, beauty parlours should also be closed for 14 days in view of a spike in coronavirus cases in the city recently.
On Wednesday, the government extended a closure order to cover karaoke lounges, mahjong parlours and nightclubs.
But beauty and massage salons, as well as clubhouses, are allowed to remain open, although those inside must wear face masks “at any time where practicable”.
Leung said beauty parlours are at risk of having cross infections as people come into close contact, and clients will not wear masks when having facial treatments.
He said the beauticians could become infected and the environment at these venues could be contaminated with coronavurus.
“Those working in the beauty and massage parlours are serving multiple customers on the same day. This will also cause a transmission network if some of these workers are infected. They may pass it to the customers. There is an increased risk of a further outbreak within our community,” he warned.
Leung said a temporary closure of these venues for 14 days could prevent the community from having to take more drastic measures in case the outbreak escalates.