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Business / Hair and beauty businesses begin to ask customers to reschedule booking if they have been south

It comes after a new cluster of coronavirus cases in Aberdeen

SOME local hair and beauty businesses are taking proactive measures to protect against coronavirus by asking anyone who has been to the mainland to reschedule their appointment if it is within a fortnight of their return to Shetland.

Lerwick hairdresser Studio 4 and Tresta beauty therapy company Benessere are among those who have implemented the policy.

It came after a cluster of new confirmed Covid-19 cases were linked to a pub in Aberdeen.

Since then the city has had lockdown restrictions temporarily re-imposed, with travel to Aberdeen not allowed.

Studio 4 said on Tuesday: “We kindly ask if you have been off the island or have been in close contact with anyone having recently been off the island, to reschedule your appointment for 14 days after return.

A photo of the Studio 4 salon, taken pre-coronavirus.

“This is to help protect our staff and clients and prevent the closure of the salon.”

Salon owner Lynn Cumming said it was a case of “making some very difficult decisions”.

“We’re doing everything we can to try and keep staff and clients safe and this has always been a priority,” she said.

“Our industry involves coming into particularly close contact with the public so we have put in a huge amount of work to make sure guidelines and procedures are followed precisely and clients are only dealing with that one stylist through the whole service.

“It’s a very fast moving virus and I need to do everything I can to protect staff, jobs, families.

“Any small business owner will know how difficult and stressful these last few months have been so we need to try and prevent the salon from closing again.”

Benessere’s Evette Walterson also requested clients who have been south to reschedule for 14 days after returning to Shetland to “prevent me having to close if you turn poorly”.

She added that she has a family member who is shielding, and as she runs the business from home her immediate family would have to be off work if there was contact with the virus.

Lerwick hairdresser Tooth & Nail Barber Surgeons is also asking anyone who has been off Shetland to reschedule if they had a booking within a fortnight of their return.

Speaking on Tuesday, NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson said that “people should be reassured that, if they have been in contact with an individual who poses a significant risk or has tested positive, then we will contact them”.

It came after there was speculation someone from Shetland had been in contact with a new confirmed case in Aberdeen.

“Contacts of confirmed cases will also be asked to self-isolate for 14 days – whether they have symptoms or not,” Dickson said.

“If they develop symptoms during the 14 days, they will be tested and, if they are positive, they will have to continue self-isolating until they are well, which is not less than 14 days from the point of being tested.”

He also said it is “likely that it will only be a matter of time before we see more cases in Shetland”.

The total number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 recorded in Shetland since the outbreak reached the isles earlier this year remains at 54.

It has stayed at that number since April.