Hair salons and personal care services are reopening in Toronto
Toronto hair salons and barber shops have been closed for more than four long months amid pandemic lockdown, and now that things have been slowly reopening across Ontario, they've been begging to be granted a fighting chance to open their doors and keep from shutting down permanently.
And, it seems that Premier Doug Ford has listened.
The province announced on Friday that in just over two weeks, businesses offering personal care services in grey zone regions such as Toronto and Peel will be allowed to resume operations with rigorous health and safety measures in place.
These businesses include but are not limited to hair salons, barber shops, tattoo studios, and nail salons, which will be able to operate by appointment only starting at 12:01 a.m on Monday, April 12.
They will also need to heed other guidelines that have become second nature for establishments at this point, such as maintaining tighter capacity limits and social distancing on their premises.
NEW: Personal care services — barber shops, hair and nail salons, and tattoo — will be open by appointment only as of April 12 in Toronto. They will have been closed for 140 days since lockdown started Nov. 23. #onpoli #COVID19— Robert Benzie (@robertbenzie) March 26, 2021
Salons, which have been shuttered in Toronto since the city first entered the old version of the grey zone of the province's reopening framework on Nov. 23, have long been fighting for their right to remain open given how little their settings contribute to virus spread, which they showed with data back in the fall.
As part of a social media campaign, such businesses shared how many infections they had seen among staff and customers in the weeks they were open over the summer, the vast majority of them reporting zero.
They, like tattoo shops, already have to adhere to firm cleanliness and sanitization practices and have specialized training due to the nature of the tools they work with, like razor blades and cutting shears (or in the case of tattoo shops, needles).
With residents' mental health on the brink and businesses on the verge of devastation if not already gone, the province has been adding additional permissions to grey zone regions in recent weeks, including giving "non-essential" retail stores the green light to reopen to 25 per cent capacity and allowing bars and restaurants to reopen their patios.
Outdoor fitness classes and team training sessions are also being authorized to begin on March 29 with stringent restrictions in place, while capacity limits for services such as weddings and funerals are being upped based on venue size.
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