A hair salon that defied the Victorian government’s coronavirus lockdown was fined almost $10,000 after briefly opening for trading on Saturday.
Husband and wife Jomana Najem and Rojer Alhallak, who own the Adam and Weave Barber shop in Hughesdale, in south-east Melbourne, were slugged $9,913 for opening their doors despite Stage 4 restrictions.
The struggling business put a call out on Facebook to any Victorian who needed a haircut, saying they would ‘go broke’ if they had no customers.
Police were spotted outside the salon at 8.30am on Saturday after Mrs Najem revealed her intention to open the shop in earlier media reports.
The salon was eventually closed just before 11am, with police then issuing the whopping fine.
Husband and wife Jomana Najem and Rojer Alhallak (pictured) were fined close to $10,000 on Saturday for opening their salon in Melbourne
The owners of salon ‘Adam and Weave’ were fined almost $10,000 by police (pictured) for opening during lockdown in a bid to save their business from collapse
Victorian Police (pictured) who fined the barber and salon owners almost $10,000 for operating during a lockdown
Mrs Najem said the large fine was ‘not a major concern’ and revealed to The Age she has already secured commitment for crowd-funded financial backing for costs associated with contesting the fine in court.
A Victoria Police spokesman confirmed the salon had been fined for operating in breach of the Stage 4 Chief Health Officer directions.
‘Victoria Police understands the difficulties facing many businesses at the moment and made every effort to see the matter resolved without the need for a fine to be issued,’ a spokesperson said.
‘However, after repeated warnings and consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, the business owner was issued a fine for $9,913.’
The salon first opened on July 8, and was up and running for just three and a half weeks before they had to shut up shop on August 3 due to strict Stage Four restrictions.
Since then, the couple have been struggling to survive without any form of income or welfare payments.
‘Rojer is new to Australia, he is on a temporary residency we have had not on cent from the government for our business. Even personally no Centrelink, nothing,’ Mrs Najem said.
‘I have just had my parenting payments cut off.’
It is the second time Mr Alhallak has been forced to close his business, after leaving his home country Syria.
Adam & Weave Hair Salon and Barber in Hughesdale has been fined $9,913 for opening in lockdown
The salon only opened on July 8, before they had to shut up shop on August 3 as the city went into lockdown
‘The first time he lost his salon because of war, and this time he is like, why is this happening again? I literally opened a salon and it’s being taken away from me.
‘This is a war…its a psychological war and we have to do something about it.’
Meanwhile, the K9 Salon next door reopened two weeks ago, offering pet-grooming services.
‘They were able to open but it doesn’t make sense that they were allowed to open and cut animal hair but human hair is not allowed to be cut,’ Mrs Najem said.
Ms Najem said the pair are struggling to survive without any form of income or welfare payments
For her partner Mr Alhallak (pictured styling a model) it is the second time he has been forced to close his business, after leaving his home country Syria
The desperate business owners urged Melburnians to come by and visit them when they opened their doors at 8.30am on Saturday
MELBOURNE’S ROADMAP OUT OF COVID-19 LOCKDOWN – WHAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO DO AND WHEN:
Step one: Came into effect on September 14
Step two: Came into effect on September 28
Step three: When there is a daily statewide average of five new cases over the past 14 days. The original aim was for October 26, brought forward to October 19 after the 14-day average of new cases fell below initial expectations, but again put on hold after new case numbers plateaued.
This has now been revamped to be a series of ‘mini-steps’ and more gradual easings as the numbers proved difficult to shift.
Step four: The move to step four will come when there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days. The aim is for this to come into place on November 23
COVID Normal: After 28 days of no new COVID-19 cases, things will return to normal.
FREEDOMS YOU GET AT EACH STEP OF EASING
Step one – came into effect September 14
– Curfew has been eased to 9pm-5am
– People can still only leave home for the four reasons (shopping, exercise, work and care or medical attention)
– Public gatherings increased to two people, or a household, for a maximum of two hours
– Singles can have one nominated person to their home as part of the ‘singles social bubble’
– Childcare and early educators to remain closed
– Schools will continue to learn remotely unless they have exemptions
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, unless they have exemption
– Only go to work if you are in a permitted industry
– Cafes and restaurants will continue with take away only
– Retail businesses will remain open for essential shopping, with others only operating with click and collect
– Only one person per household can do the essential shopping
Step two – came into effect September 28
– Melbourne’s curfew lifted
– Public gatherings increase again to five people from a maximum of two households
– Childcare and early educators can re-open
– Schools to continue with remote learning, but Prep to Grade Two and Year 11 and Year 12 students will gradually return to class in Term 4
– There will be an increase to permitted workplaces
Step three – originally expected October 26, brought forward to October 19
– There are no restrictions on leaving home
– Public gatherings increase to 10 people together outdoors
– A ‘household bubble’ will be introduced, so five people from one house can visit another
– Remote learning to continue, but Grades 3 to Year 11 can gradually return to class
– Adult education to continue to be done remotely, but hands on classes will see a phased return to onsite
– Work from home is encouraged
– Up to 10 people can eat together at restaurants and cafes, with the majority of tables outdoor
– Retail shops to reopen, with hairdresses operating under safety measures but beauty stores to remain closed
– Real estate agents can conduct private inspections by appointment
– The one person per household limit on shopping is to be revoked
Step four – expected in November, dependent on new case numbers:
– Public gatherings to increase to 50 people outdoors
– Up to 20 visitors can attend a home at any one time
– All adult education will return to onsite with safety measures in place
– Groups limited to 20 indoors and a maximum of 50 patrons per venue
– All retail stores to reopen, while real estate agents can operate with safety measures and by keeping a record of attendants
Step five – COVID normal:
– Public gatherings have no restriction
– There will also be no restriction on visitors to homes
– Phased return to onsite work for work from home workers
– Schools to reopen as normal
– Restrictions on hospitality removed, but venues to continue keeping records
Source: Daily Mail AU