From Scrambling To House Malaysian Staff To Safe Distancing, Here's How Some Beauty & Wellness Establishments Are Dealing With The Covid-19 Outbreak

Tough times call for tough measures, and it's business, but not-as-usual, for these beauty, wellness and aesthetics establishments.

Since we published this story, the Covid-19 situation in Singapore has changed significantly. The Circuit Breaker measures kicked in on April 7, and gyms and fitness centres have had to close, hair salons may only offer haircuts and no other services, and aesthetic clinics have started to offer tele-consultations, as physical outlets have shuttered till May 4.

For the three wellness establishments featured here, things have only gone from crazy to crazier. Here's an update. (Updated April 19)

Chez Vous and Chez Vous HideAway

Brand director Eugene Teo tells us, "Business is terrible but we open just to service our regular clients. We do haircuts by appointment only and because the number of customers is extremely low daily, we only open our Chez Vous space on Level 5 of Ngee Ann City [Chez Vous Hideaway on Level 14 is closed unless there are more customers]. Stylists come in only if there is an appointment. This is to minimise the movement of stylists and keep them at home as well.

There are usually only two to three customers an hour. Daily sales for both salons is only three digits. For sure cannot cover costs, but we remain open to maintain staff morale and also as a service for our regulars. We still pay all our staff their full salary, so they are more than happy also.

Yes, there have been people who have come in to check that we are adhering to the haircuts-only rule, but we are safe because we follow the rules. We are very clear to our staff about this. We can survive this. But if we break the law, the whole business will shut and we will never recover.  

Business is bad, but it means that people are staying home, which is good news."

IDS Aesthetics & IDS Clinic

IDS is offering tele-consultation services to their clients, available from Monday to Friday, 12pm to 6pm, to ensure all customers still have access to IDS doctors during this time. Sign up for a consultation slot at https://idsclinic.com/tele-consulting. During the session, the doctor will carry out the consultation process the same way as if the customer was in the clinic. Clinic therapists will assist with product usage and recommendations after the consultation. Products can be purchased on jyx.shop and will be delivered to your home.

The Viva Group

Their physical facilities are closed, and they are now offering live mat pilates and barre classes daily, at $20 per person or $180 for 10 classes. There is a maximum of four per class for personalised attention and technique correction. Book at 9785-7753.

(Updated April 19)

As gyms and fitness centres close temporarily or reduce capacities, and enforced safe distancing measures kick in across the island, many beauty salons, wellness centres and aesthetic clinics continue to operate, albeit cautiously.

While many think that unless it's absolutely necessary, we should stay home, others are of the opinion that life can go on, if you take the right safety measures. 

8days.sg checks in with three beauty and wellness establishments to find out the measures they've taken to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak, and how they're ensuring the safety of customers and staff.

Chez Vous and Chez Vous HideAway

The popular hair salon brand which has two outlets in Ngee Ann City has just rolled out a slew of safety measures, which include not servicing customers who have travelled out of Singapore in the last 14 days, ensuring that there is at least one empty seat between customers, putting in safe distancing markers at the reception area, taking the temperature of customers; and making it compulsory for staff to wear masks when serving customers.

This is on top of measures that have been previously implemented, which is that all towels and capes are washed with Dettol after each use; all tables, chairs and wash basins are sanitised after each use; floors and fixtures are sanitised daily; temporarily removing magazines and newspapers to reduce high touch surfaces; taking the temperature of all staff twice a day; and offering hand sanitisers to customers.

chez vous hideaway 5
The VIP room at Chez Vous Hideaway, where there is a capacity of — you guessed it — one customer. 

Chez Vous brand director Eugene Teo tells us, "Because of these measures, capacity is down 40 per cent. There are not enough slots in the coming weeks. We understand this might cause some inconvenience to customers, especially when they are unable to book an appointment with their favourite stylist or technician. But safety is our utmost priority."

The salon also had a "mega panic saga", according to Eugene, the week Malaysia announced its lockdown. With a number of Malaysian staff and stylists, including three who live in JB and commute daily, they had to scramble to find lodging for them. He said, "Asking them to find a solution on their own within the next 24 hours or having them take unpaid leave was unfair, and out of the question. We started begging around to see if we could borrow rooms for our affected team members, but in Singapore, spare guest rooms are almost impossible to find at such short notice. Thankfully, one of the management team members recently obtained keys to a new apartment. The only thing was, it was undergoing renovation and was completely bare. We put a stop to the renovation work and made the apartment liveable within 12 hours. We were blessed to have family members, teammates and friends who loaned or gave us items like mattresses, pillows, toilet paper and other essentials. Thankfully, the electricity and water supply had already been installed and running!"

chez vous hideaway 18
The hair washing area of Chez Vous Hideaway. The salon will enforce safe distancing as much as possible by leaving empty seats between each wash basin. 

IDS Aesthetics & IDS Clinic

Over at local aesthetics brand IDS, measures are also being taken. They opened the largest of their three outlets at International Building on Orchard Road in January, and the new flagship space spans a sprawling 4,240 sq ft and is partitioned into the medi-spa arm, IDS Aesthetics, and the medical aesthetics clinic, IDS Clinic. 

Their Covid-19 safety measures at the new space include double temperature screenings — first by a staff member with a scanner and then again with a thermal scanner before you enter the treatment area — a compulsory questionnaire that must be filled in by all patients, the wearing of masks by all staff, a sign asking customers to refrain from testing the skincare products at the retail counter and to ask for help from the staff instead, and safe distancing measures — they've removed chairs in the waiting area to ensure a 1m distance between all customers while they are seated.

ids ib flagship store visual  3
The open concept entrance of the new IDS flagship store at International Building. Some of the chairs you see here have since been removed for safe distancing. 

ids ib flagship store visual  11
Customers are discouraged from trying on testers for their skincare range and are asked instead to seek help from the staff.

The Viva Group

The Viva Group runs two premium pilates and wellness destinations at Sentosa Cove and Keppel Bay, and offers Pilates classes, hair salon services and manicures and pedicures at its outlets. In this time of the Covid-19 outbreak, CEO and founder Vivian Twiss tells us that they have put in place enhanced protocols for their fitness and wellness services, including sending health and travel declaration forms to their clients by e-mail and requiring these to be filled in before their appointments at their studios or salon. There are also temperature screenings, hand sanitisers and stepped up cleaning efforts, as well as twice-a-day disinfection of common surfaces. Their Pilates reformer machines continue to be disinfected before and after every use. Class size has been reduced to two participants at any one time to ensure that there’s plenty of space between clients and instructors, and one empty reformer in between clients. Appointments at the hair salon and nail spa are monitored to ensure that no more than four clients and two stylists are present at the same time in the salon and that there is one empty chair in between clients at all times.

Adds Vivian, "We are committed to contributing to the wellbeing of the community, offering safe spaces for our clients to exercise, reduce stress levels and continue with their wellness regime in a peaceful environment."

the viva group pilates studio
The Pilates studio at The Viva Group's Keppel Bay space. 

the viva group hair and nail salon data
Hair and nail services with a view: The Viva Group has implemented safe distancing measures, and one seat will be left empty between customers at all times.  

Are all these measures enough to ensure your continued patronage during this time to your favourite hair salons, beauty salons, aesthetics and wellness clinics and fitness studios? You have to decide what you're comfortable with. Meanwhile, stay safe. 

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