'Really excited': Saskatoon hair salons, retail stores reopen with COVID-19 precautions
SASKATOON -- Hairstylists, barbershops, retail stores and malls are now open for business under phase two of Saskatchewan’s five-phase plan to reopen the economy.
Starting Tuesday, they will be required to follow strict cleaning protocols and physical distancing measures outlined by the province.
Valeri Amy, hairstylist and owner of Salon SAVA, said her phone has been ringing off the hook since it was announced last month that hairdressers would be able to reopen on May 19.
She said she is booked up for over a month with some of the salon's much-sought-after first appointments decided by a raffle.
"I’m really excited to switch that closed sign over to open and be able to take us off pause," Amy told CTV News.
Under phase two, hairstylists are required to have protective eyewear and masks on while with clients. She is also providing guests with face masks and says staff will be thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting their station after each client.
“We’ve always given you your own brush for your service, we’ve always given you your own cape for your service. So we’re going to keep those in place and then just amp it up."
Amy said the salon will only have two stylists and two customers in the store at a time to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
“We’re no longer allowed to stagger appointments. So, when you come in, your spot will be just for you for that full two and a half hours instead of having back to back appointments. So, what we used to be able to do in eight hours now is going to take me 12 to 14, and that's okay” she said with a smile.
Meanwhile, retail stores are also taking precautions.
The Better Good, a store on Broadway that sells ethically-sourced home and body products as well as clothing, reopened Tuesday.
Co-owner Corey Neufeld said they’ve been offering online and pickup orders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but are excited to be opening the store back up.
“The main thing that we like to do here is making connections with people so we have a more personalized, interactive experience than we would online.”
Neufeld said they’ve put up plexiglass at the till and are restricting the number of people allowed in the store at a time in order to limit contact with staff and customers.
“We’re going to be greeting each person when they come in and sanitizing their hands, letting them know to keep safe space. Reminding them not to touch things they’re not wanting to buy,” he said.
Neufeld added that customers will be allowed to try on clothes in the store’s one change room, but that strict rules and sanitization practices will be in place.
“We will encourage people to only try things on when they need to. We’ll be of course sanitizing in between uses and making sure people keep clean before and after they try things on.”
The Better Good is also accepting returns when necessary but said they are going to quarantine items that are brought back to the store as an extra precaution, as suggested in the province's Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan.
People are also being asked to pay with a card instead of cash.
Neufeld said he hopes people looking to shop, will consider buying local.
“The way that our government is able to care for people in this pandemic, whether it’s healthcare or grants to keep businesses open or wage subsidies for people that lost work, the only way they can do that is if people pay taxes here in Saskatchewan and in Canada, and these big corporations don’t do that, but local businesses like ours do.”