COVID-19: Not all Lethbridge salons planning to reopen right away

As part of Alberta’s relaunch strategy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the province has said certain businesses — including hair salons and barbers — could open as early as Thursday, May 14, but the owners of one Lethbridge salon believe it would be irresponsible to open that soon.

The government released business guides for the COVID-19 reopening plan on Monday, which included a framework for salons and barbershops on the Alberta Biz Connect website.

“As far as right now, we are not ready for May 14,” Hailey Scheu, owner and stylist at Shear Persuasion Salon and Spa in Lethbridge, said Tuesday.

Scheu said if and when the province gives the green light they won’t be rushing to reopen their salon. Instead, Shear Persuasion is planning to do a soft relaunch on May 26 with staff and immuno-compromised clients.

Scheu’s co-owner, and fellow stylist, Suzi Stoski said rushing the reopening could undo a lot of hard work thus far.

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“Everybody is doing everything we can at all times to do the social distancing as much as we can everywhere … to keep everybody safe and to stop the spread of germs and to keep this curve flattened,” Stoski said.

“We don’t want to ruin everything we’ve closed or worked so hard for for these past two months.”

Work stations at the salon have been spaced six feet apart, appointment times will be adjusted to allow for cleaning in between customers and a special day will be set aside for high-risk clients.

Stoski said staff have also taken online courses tailored to COVID-19.

“We will be wearing masks, we will be asking our clients to wear masks as well and just disinfect as much as we can,” she said.

Scheu added that when clients arrive for appointments they will no longer sit in a waiting room, but instead be asked to wait outside until an employee waves them in.

The owners believe that reopening is a two-way street, and said that while they are doing the best they can to protect clients, they ask that clients do the same.

They are also requesting that if people aren’t feeling well that they reschedule after 14 days.

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