Bonn/Region On March 1, hair salons will finally be allowed to reopen. Just one day after the news went out, their phones are ringing nonstop. Everyone wants an appointment. But not all hairdressers in Bonn and the region are elated.
For hairdresser Heidi Dietrich, there was a reason to celebrate on Wednesday: Federal and state governments agreed that hairdressers would be allowed to open again starting March 1. It is a ray of hope, says Dietrich, who has been operating her salon "Kopfgärtnerin" in Bad Honnef for 18 years now. Customers are happy too: Hair salons in Bonn and the region report that the phones have been ringing nonstop since Thursday morning. Everyone wants an appointment. Niederkassel hairdresser Susanne Wurmbach has been in a "super mood" ever since. "I'm happy that we can finally work again," she says.
But like many other hairdressers, she would have liked to see this happen even sooner. At the beginning of February, she filed an emergency petition with a court in Münster, in which she wanted to overturn the closure of hair salons in NRW. She is still eagerly awaiting the court decision, as her petition calls for a reopening on February 15. "For us, every day counts at the moment. We have over 80,000 hair salons in Germany. Some of them will not reopen," says Wurmbach, because of financial difficulties brought on by the lockdown.
That's why the mood at Sabine Klein’s hair salon in Bonn, "Haarstudio Anders" on Meckenheimer Allee, is rather subdued. "I had actually hoped that we could open as early as February," she says. Financially, things are not going well, she has not yet received any aid from the state and already had to close her second and larger hair studio on Clemens-August-Strasse after the first lockdown. Instead of three employees, she now has only one, who is on “Kurzarbeit” (short-time work). Klein doesn't really have confidence in the jubilation surrounding the reopening yet. "Who knows if people even have the money to go to the hairdresser," she points out.
With only one other employee, Claudia Odenthal will work her way through the flood of appointments at her "Haargenau" salon in Oberkassel. "I will have to work through the weekends for the next few months and have twelve-hour days," she says. But her worries don't end there. Because of the strict requirements for reopening, Odenthal explains, she will be able to serve fewer customers during the same work hours. "At most, it's just enough to sustain the business." Later this week, she said, she began liquidating her retirement savings to keep the salon open. Her savings, built up over twelve years, has now been depleted. And she knows that some of her colleagues are much worse off. "Many of my peers are having to go out of business, there are dramas playing out on social media," she says.
Other businesses are not so lucky
Hair salons in Bonn and the region suspect that other business sectors will complain that salons are allowed to reopen, but they are not - and rightly so, the hairdressers emphasize. The latest federal and state government meeting on coronavirus resulted in this directive: States will only be allowed to open up further when a "stable" incidence rate of no more than 35 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants is reached within seven days. At that point, retail stores, museums and galleries and businesses which offer services requiring close body contact, will be allowed to open.
Susanne Wurmbach says: "I can understand that some will raise an uproar. Perhaps we only were allowed to open because we filed so many lawsuits and attracted so much attention," she says. Heidi Dietrich can't quite explain the new provision either. The other service and retail businesses have also developed good hygiene concepts.
Orig. text: Sofia Grillo, Translation: ck