One Red Deer salon owner will stay open until the last person walks in Saturday – even if that’s right until midnight.
Salons and barbershops across Alberta will need to close their doors Sunday, when the provincial government’s expanded restrictions, aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, come into effect.
“The financial side of it is strenuous for sure, but the emotional side of it is more strenuous. It’s heartbreaking because this is our livelihood and our clients are like our family,” said Grace Engel, owner of Classicuts Oasis in Red Deer.
“Not being able to see them, socialize with them and have them in our chairs is heartbreaking.”
Engel said since the beginning of the pandemic, her business has limited itself to having only five people in the building at a time, including staff.
“We’ve been so insanely meticulous with sanitizing and making sure we’re following every single rule, so it’s hard,” she said.
The community is showing plenty of support for her business heading into Sunday, said Engel.
“People are coming in to get their last cuts, and they’re also doing it to encourage us to keep going,” she said.
On Saturday “we are pretty full until seven o’clock, when we’re usually open until five. We’re committed to staying open until the last person comes. If that’s midnight, then that’s midnight.”
Tracy Carter, owner of twenty twenty Salon and Spa, said her business has been “crazy” busy since the provincial announced the stricter measures.
“We’re trying to fit four weeks of Christmas busyness into four days. There are five of us here and we’re working pretty much (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) since they made the announcement … just trying to accommodate all of our clients before we get shut down,” said Tracy Carter, owner of twenty twenty.
Carter said she understands measures need to be introduced to lower the curve, but doesn’t “entirely understand how certain industries and businesses were chosen to be shut down.”
It’s confusing how “malls are able to stay open but we’re shut down again or how massage therapists can’t work, but physiotherapists can. Some of where they’ve picked and chosen to make the restrictions is a little confusing. Talking to our clients, they’ve kind of said the same thing,” she said.
“But again, it’s understandable something needed to be done to flatten our curve. I guess we were just on the chopping block.”
Prior to these restrictions being announced, business was a little slower than usual in December, Carter said, adding this was due to people being cautious heading into the holiday season.
The new measures starting Sunday, include closing in-person dining at restaurants and bars, as well as closing lounges, casinos and bingo halls.
Indoor recreation facilities, fitness centres, pools, spas, gyms, studios and indoor rinks will be also be shut. Outdoor skating rinks and ski hills are allowed to stay open.