Salon owners adjust to new proof of vaccination and capacity limit rules
As capacity limits lifted at more businesses across Ontario on Monday, there's growing confusion among some spa owners and personal care service providers about what the new rules mean for them.
Many non-essential businesses that require proof of COVID-19 vaccination, including restaurants and gyms, returned to full capacity on Monday.
But at places like museums, galleries, places of worship and personal care services, capacity limits can only be lifted if individual businesses opt to require proof of vaccination.
Currently, proof of vaccination is not required to access such settings – causing confusion for some business owners.
Businesses that opt not to require proof of vaccination will have to continue operating with physical distancing in place.
"Salons have been a little bit confused about where they fit into all of this," said Kelly Grindrod, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo's School of Pharmacy. "Are they like a gym or restaurant or are they more like an essential workplace?"
Proof of vaccination is not currently required to access such settings, but each individual business can opt to require it if they wish to return to full capacity.
At Gina's Spa and Hair Studio in Waterloo, owner Jenny Decicco has had a COVID-19 vaccination policy in effect for more than a month.
"We just felt it would be the best approach to keep our staff safe and everyone else in the community safe," she said.
Staff at Gina's Spa are preparing to transition back to full capacity as early as next week. Decicco said she wants to ramp up slowly to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Decicco said while the updated proof of vaccination policy is "confusing," she sees it as a positive.
"I feel more supported now," she said.
"I think it's great," said customer Cathy Shervington. "It gives me a sense of safety when I go into some of these establishments knowing everyone has been checked."