Coronavirus: How Singapore's hair salons, bakeries, laundry shops are preparing to resume business from May 12

All food outlets selling packaged snacks, cakes, confectionery and desserts and hairdressers, can reopen, subject to restrictions. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

A cautious rollback of the current circuit breaker to tackle the coronavirus outbreak from Tuesday will see more shops back in business.

All food outlets selling packaged snacks, cakes, confectionery and desserts, as well as home-based food businesses, retail laundry services and hairdressers, can reopen, subject to restrictions, said the authorities earlier this month.

For instance, workplaces allowed to carry on need to ensure employees maintain a safe physical distance between themselves to limit the spread of Covid-19.

But some face challenges in reopening after three weeks of closure. Home bakers are grappling with shortages of some ingredients and finding safe ways to do delivery pick-ups, while salons are looking at how to handle potential crowds.

The Sunday Times talks to barber shops, laundry services and bakeries to find out how they have been affected and how they are trying to comply with the restrictions when they reopen for business.


Hair salons get ready for expected influx of customers

Customers at a QB House outlet before the circuit breaker began. Hair salons can reopen from Tuesday, but must manage potential crowds.
Customers at a QB House outlet before the circuit breaker began. Hair salons can reopen from Tuesday, but must manage potential crowds. PHOTO: QB HOUSE

Regular customers of Ezen Hair, Nail & Beauty salon have been calling to ask when it would reopen, as some of them grow increasingly desperate for a haircut.

The salon, which started operations in 1982 and has nine outlets, will reopen on Tuesday but can provide only basic hair-cutting as well as washing and blow-drying services.

It can also serve each customer for a maximum of an hour.

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Bakeries securing fresh ingredients ahead of May 12 start

Customers queueing up at The Pine Garden's Ang Mo Kio outlet (top) on April 22, before tighter measures kicked in. The bakery, which has been calling up customers (above) to process refunds for their cancelled orders, will reopen all its six outlets
Customers queueing up at The Pine Garden's Ang Mo Kio outlet (above) on April 22, before tighter measures kicked in. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Last month, home baker Adeline Tan, 23, was so short on speculoos, a type of spiced cookie, that she had to buy them from a German market - at almost double FairPrice's usual price.

She had taken orders for speculoos brownies before realising how difficult it was to get hold of the ingredient, and had to absorb the extra costs to fulfil some 70 orders.

She is one of many home bakers grappling with supply shortages before business reopens on Tuesday.

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Some laundry shops may not reopen since offices remain closed

Mr Dobi Laundry Services in Yishun is one of the laundry shops that may not reopen yet, while some shops are planning to resume business with shorter opening hours and others are saying they will not allow walk-in customers. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA
Mr Dobi Laundry Services in Yishun is one of the laundry shops that may not reopen yet, while some shops are planning to resume business with shorter opening hours and others are saying they will not allow walk-in customers. ST PHOTO: KHALID BABA

Laundry companies will take tentative steps in reopening for business from May 12, saying they have to iron out some details first, such as establishing footfall where they are located.

Some are planning to resume business with shorter opening hours, while others are saying they will not allow walk-in customers.

Laundry services are among the businesses that will be allowed to reopen under adjusted circuit breaker measures announced by the multi-ministry task force.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 10, 2020, with the headline How hair salons, bakeries, laundry shops are preparing to resume business. Subscribe