Hair salons push to reopen after being left out of Step 1
KITCHENER -- While many businesses were bustling during the first weekend of Step 1 of the province’s reopening plan, those who remain closed are speaking out.
The Ontario Hair Stylists Association is arguing its members should be allowed to open their shop doors.
Tanya Hill, Vice President of the Ontario Hair Stylists Association, says her hair dressers should not be put under the same umbrella as other personal services because 80 to 90 per cent of their services are non-client facing.
She also argues that there is a mental health aspect to a customer getting a fresh cut, as well as benefits to their physical health.
“When we are servicing our guests we get to know them and it’s not unusual that we will identify an abrasion on their scalp or something that they reach out to a doctor. We know that many of our guests have come back to us and said I am so glad you let me know that actually was the beginning of skin cancer,” said Hill.
The owner of Fresh Salon and Spa in Guelph says her doors have been closed for over 300 days and believes it’s time to open.
She says some clients with disabilities used to come in on a weekly basis just to have their hair washed because that’s something they’re unable to do on their own.
According to the province’s reopening roadmap, personal care services will not be permitted until Step 2, which Ontario is expected to enter in early July.
In a statement to CTV Kitchener, the Ministry of Labour said the government has taken a "cautious approach to lifting public health measures" based on vaccination rates and other public health indicators.
"Step 1 permits the resumption of more outdoor activities with smaller, well-managed crowds where risk of transmission is minimized and will permit limited indoor settings, all with restrictions in place. Personal care services, with restrictions, are permitted to open as part of Step 2," a statement from the ministry said in part. "Highly contagious COVID-19 variants have demonstrated that key indicators can change very quickly and we must remain vigilant. As a result, key public health and health care indicators will be continuously monitored in advance of moving to a step in the Roadmap and throughout the 21-day period to ensure a continued decline, or once key indicators significantly improve and stabilize."