‘Pingdemic’ forces barbershop to close

Mr Barbers in Ely

MR Barbers, in Fore Hill, Ely will be closed until Saturday (July 24) because of the 'pingdemic'. - Credit: Supplied by MR Barbers

An Ely barbershop is one of many businesses forced to close as a result of the ‘pingdemic’.

MR Barbers, in Fore Hill, will remain shut until Saturday (July 24) while its barbers are self-isolating. 

Karl Foster, Director of MR Barbers group, explained Ely is one of three barbershops in the nation-wide chain affected by the ‘pingdemic’.

He said: “We have 10 barbers that would normally be serving around 750 clients over the 10-day isolation period.

“That’s a lot of potentially unhappy customers and a lot of lost business.”

Karl Foster, Director of Mr Barbers Group

Karl Foster, Director of the MR Barbers Group. - Credit: Supplied by MR Barbers

He added: “As a public facing industry our barbers don’t even know when they came into contact with someone that tested positive.

“Small business is being crippled again but this time there is no official lockdown and competitors are free to pick up customers not willing to wait.

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“It’s a very difficult situation and incredibly frustrating after the disruption our barbers have already faced.”

Many businesses, including large supermarket chains, have been forced to close or reduce their opening hours because staff have been forced to self-isolate by the NHS Covid app.

Today (Tuesday), the government will announce self-solation rules will be relaxed for critical workers who are fully vaccinated.

Those expected to be included in the scheme are NHS and care staff as well as those who work in the food and utility sectors.

Instead of self-isolating, they will take daily Covid tests.

Despite government restrictions being lifted yesterday (Monday) for ‘Freedom Day’, MR Barbers says it has made the company-wide decision to keep all Covid precautions in place.

Barbers will continue to wear masks and while customers won’t need to, they will be encouraged to do so.

All of the rigorous cleaning policies that MR Barbers introduced at the beginning the pandemic will also remain.

Karl said: “I would ask everyone to try and be understanding with your local small businesses and continue to remain loyal.

“Your custom will be even more valuable in the coming months than at any time during the pandemic.”

MR Barbers has 28 barbershops across the East of England, including Cambridge, Huntindgon, St Neots and Sawston.

For regular updates on its Ely reopening, visit the MR Barbers Ely Facebook page.