Auckland hair salons are gearing up to reopen on Thursday, and for those used to getting their regular six-weekly trim, it's been a lengthy wait.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that hair salons and barbers can reopen to vaccinated customers from Thursday, before the country moves to the new traffic light system under the COVID Protection Framework at 11.59pm on December 2.
Wednesday will mark 14 weeks of closed doors for Auckland hairdressers, which have remained shut since the COVID-19 Delta Outbreak, plunging the country into lockdown on August 18.
Hair salons and barbers will be required to check the vaccination status of their clients prior to entry, helping the Government to understand how the vaccine certificates will work in practice.
James Carlisle, managing director of Vivo Hair Salons, said Thursday marks the end of a 100-day wait - and he's relieved salons are finally being able to open.
"It's been a long time coming...it's a huge relief to be able to get our staff back into salons," Carlisle told Newshub.
As hair salons take bookings by appointment, clients are seated one-metre apart and health and safety standards applied, he questions why hairdressers haven't been allowed to open sooner.
"We seem to tick all the boxes in terms of being safe places of business...it's hard to understand why we've been closed for so long," Carlisle added.
When salons open from Thursday, it will be business as usual, he says. The business has worked with the Ministry of Health to trial the NZ Pass Verifier in a couple of its salons, which he says is "very straightforward" to use.
Bookings will be taken in advance and face masks and social distancing are required.
"It's really just business as usual, except that we will now be scanning peoples' vaccine passes, [a record is then stored in the computer]," Carlisle added.
In a written statement, Just Cuts confirms all 12 of its Auckland salons are preparing to open.
From 9am on Thursday, customers will be able to download its app to book on the day they want to visit a salon.
In line with health regulations, customers are required to bring their vaccine pass to their appointment where it will be scanned. Staff and customers will wear face masks and maintain social distancing.
"These measures provide a sensible, concrete pathway towards reopening that is welcome news for our network of small family owned businesses who have been in lockdown for so long in Auckland," Just Cuts CEO Amber Manning said.