Auckland hairdressers and beauty therapists have been swamped with calls from desperate customers after a rumour they could open next week.
The rumour - that the Government was considering allowing the locked-down industry to open early as a test run for vaccine certificates - is unconfirmed.
Salon owner and board member of Hair and Barber New Zealand, Simone Jones, had not heard anything official on an early opening and had been fielding calls from confused salon owners and customers all morning.
"Salon owners have been ringing me seeking clarity on what is happening because there is a lot of planning involved in reopening," she said.
"I also have my own salon so I've had clients calling wanting to get in for the first time in three months."
Jones said her advice to salon owners was to wait until the official announcement on November 29.
A face-to-face meeting with Finance Minister Grant Robinson and business leaders yesterday is thought to have sparked the rumour.
Auckland Business Chamber chief executive Michael Barnett said the meeting included a broad conversation about which businesses were still closed, and why.
He said business leaders identified hairdressers as an anomaly, but weren't given any positive indication that an exception to salons or barbers would be granted.
Viv Beck, from Heart of the City, attended the meeting and said the message to the Government "was heard".
"We raised the anomaly where dentists can open but hairdressers can't at the meeting and we do believe the message was heard," Beck said.
"We would love to see hairdressers open earlier and we trust they can do it safely."
Jones called on the Government to confirm or deny the rumour.
"There needs to be clear information so we know exactly what we need to prepare for."
Other salon owners were well aware of the rumour and had put their phones to voicemail and posted on social media to let clients know there would be no earlier bookings.
Morgan & Morgan The Hair Collective in Takapuna addressed the rumour with a post that made it clear there had been no official word.
"I have spoken to all the local MP's and they have not had any verification from the government," the post read.
"Reopening after 13 weeks will take us a minute to organise - we need to make bookings, get stock and get our team sorted."
To have a haircut or beauty treatment customers need to show their Covid-19 vaccine certificate. Staff also needed to be fully vaccinated.
But the post said there had been no advice as to how the Vaccine Passport would be implemented.
Staff were planning to be back at work on December 1 based on indications given Auckland would have moved to the first stage of the traffic light system.
"If we can get to work sooner we will, but we think it's highly unlikely we will be back next week," the post read.
"If we make bookings based on a rumour it will just create chaos at our end as for now we are sticking to our plan."