ontario hair salons

Ford says wife and daughters want him to open Ontario hair and nail salons early

Given how well Step 1 of reopening has been going in Ontario, Premier Doug Ford is getting pressured to loosen restrictions further for businesses like hair salons, which have been shuttered in some regions for nearly seven full months.

Ford indicated this week that his team is indeed considering moving the province into Step 2 of the roadmap early, and that he will be eagerly sitting down with Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams to find out when that could happen.

According to the initial plan, the province is supposed to wait at least 21 days between steps, meaning the earliest that more business operations could resume would be July 2.

But, Ford said today that he's listening to demands for a faster progression into Step 2 — it's that those calls aren't just coming from business owners, local mayors and constituents hoping to get a haircut.

"I'm pushing [Williams], I think everyone's pushing him. When it comes to the hairdressers, folks, hang in there, we're going to get there as soon as possible," Ford told reporters in a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

"And when you talk about the nail salons, I have five women in my house that are onto me and lobbying me hard [for] these manicures and pedicures and everything else they get done."

Ford's wife and daughters are joined by many in renewed calls to reopen businesses offering personal care services, which have not proven to be settings conducive to COVID-19 spread when operating with appropriate health and safety measures in place.

Measures that, unfortunately, are not being adhered to as strictly in the very active black market for things like haircuts, salon services and tattoos during forced closures.

"Lockdown is fine if you are doing something that's unsafe... but what we're doing inside barber shops and salons is completely 100 per cent safe," Glassbox Barbershop owner Peter Gosling said in a plea to the provincial government to allow his industry to reopen months ago.

"There is no difference between my operation and a dentist's office. Actually, a dentist's office would be more dangerous as you actually have to remove the mask to go into someone's mouth. But we use all the same protocol for safe practice, safe service, disinfecting and sanitation."

Numbers from Toronto Public Health between the beginning of the health crisis and March 2021 showed that less than 0.2 of known outbreaks took place in personal service settings, compared to 69 per cent in warehouses, shipping facilities, construction sites, offices and food processing plants that had fewer operational restrictions in place.

Numerous salons in the city likewise published their own numbers while fighting against lockdown late last year, showing that they had seen zero cases of the virus on site in the weeks they were allowed to reopen and serve the public.

Lead photo by

Doug Ford

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