Hairdressers and beauticians say they're 'extremely excited' about the prospect of reopening in the coming weeks - but they've urged people to be patient while salons deal with a 'big influx' of customers.
They're also calling on the Government to invest in rapid antigen testing across society to ensure there's no 'lockdown four'.
Cabinet is meeting today to sign off on a wide-ranging reopening plan for May and June.
It's now expected that barbers, hairdressers and salons will be among the first businesses to be allowed reopen on May 10th - albeit by appointment only.
On Newstalk Breakfast, Margaret Doherty O’Rourke - CEO of the Hair and Beauty Confederation - said such positive news has been long-awaited.
She said: “We’re very excited to welcome all our customers back.
“We would ask customers to be patient and bear with us - if the 10th is the date, it’s a short turnaround.”
Ms Doherty O'Rourke said salon owners have spent months getting staff and facilities ready for a safe reopening, but there will be a ‘big influx’ of clients looking for an appointment.
However, she reassured people salons will get to everybody - noting that they’ve done two major reopenings already.
Ms Doherty O'Rourke also said hairdressers want to see the State implement the findings of a recent report which called for the wider use of rapid antigen among workers "who have significant face-to-face interaction with members of the public".
She explained: "We expect the Government to fund and implement lateral flow testing.
“Lockdown four is not an option: the use of antigen testing as another tool to protect against COVID-19 is really needed.”