Jobs in the local fashion industry could be lost and some businesses might have to close down for good, an association representing the sector has warned.
“We’re disappointed that hair, nail and beauty salons will remain closed until 26th April, even though they were forced to adapt to immensely strict measures which they followed as they should have,” the Malta Fashion Association said.
“These shops are among the sectors which adhered most strictly to the protocols of absolute hygiene, and they were never mentioned as a cause for the spread of the virus.”
The fashion industry was forced to shut last month as part of a quasi-lockdown to halt the spread of COVID-19, and Prime Minister Robert Abela announced yesterday they will be able to reopen on 26th April along with other “non-essential” shops and services.
However, the MFA took the health authorities for its lack of consultation with the industry, which it said was made to close in its most profitable time of year.
“The sector was forced to close down in its most crucial business months, seeing as certain services aren’t provided in summer, which led to a loss of revenue which used to make good for the summer months,” it said.
“Not only have these sectors only received a wage supplement, unlike other sectors which received a grant to make up for the costs, but the same wage supplement only served to pay the rent these businesses have to pay.”
“These decisions by the Superintendent of Public Health, without any consultation, can lead to the loss of jobs and the closing of businesses.”
“While the fashion industry is in favour of any decisions to halt the spread of the pandemic, the authorities need to consult, especially when dealing with a sector which it has no experience in because otherwise we’d have pulled the same rope without any business and jobs being lost.”
Do you work in the fashion industry? Are you concerned about your future? If so, feel free to reach out, even in confidence, at [email protected]