The owner of a Red Deer salon says she’s “definitely relieved” her business can re-open next week, when the Government of Alberta eases some COVID-19 restrictions.
On Thursday, Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced hair salons, barbershops, tattoo parlours and other personal and wellness services can open by appointment only, starting Monday.
Grace Engel, owner of ClassiCuts Oasis hair salon, said she will have plenty to do before opening.
“It’s probably going to be two full days of sanitizing. It’s going to be a little bit of work, but that’s OK,” Engel said Friday afternoon.
Engel said she is grateful to her clients who are waiting for her to re-open.
“I’m proud of my clients for not going to underground places or places that shouldn’t have been open, because it doesn’t only show their dedication for me, it shows their dedication to their community by not adding to this pandemic,” she said.
“It’s going to take a while to make up the money from both close downs for sure.”
While she’s happy to re-open her business next week, Engel said she is “fairly confident” there will be another lockdown in the future.
“I hope next time they do it more fairly and consistently, with everything being looked at appropriately,” she said.
Reg Warkentin, Red Deer and District Chamber of Commerce policy and government relations manager, said it’s important everyone is able to earn a livelihood.
“These business owners and operators, and the people they employ, they rely on their jobs to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads,” said Warkentin.
“We’re really seeing a huge sense of frustration from our members still faced with lockdowns and severe restrictions to how they’re able to operate. We’re really looking for things to be opened as soon as possible, especially as the vaccination program continues to roll out.”
Warkentin said the chamber is pushing for the government to ensure restrictions are reasonable and backed by scientific data.
“The other message we’re trying to convey is that we need to move past a reactive approach, where we’re playing whack-a-mole trying to cut down transmission. We need to get a bit more strategic about managing this virus, especially because it appears Canadians won’t be fully vaccinated until October of 2021,” he said.