Carleton Place barbershop fined $880 for opening, as personal care services push to be included in reopening plans
CARLETON PLACE, ONT. -- There is a growing push from the personal care service industry for businesses like barbershops and beauty salons to reopen.
At Towne Barbershop in Carleton Place, owner Kyle Blundell opened an outdoor barber chair Wednesday morning.
"I did about seven haircuts," says Blundell. "I made it from 9:30 a.m. until about 1:30 p.m."
That’s when the Leeds, Grenville, and Lanark Health Unit arrived to shut down the event, fining Towne Barbershop $880.
"It was sort of a grey area for me," says Blundell when asked if he knew he was breaking the COVID-19 restrictions.
"I knew that I wasn’t legally allowed to open indoors but watching other local hairdressers and stuff open outside, local barbershops, I just sort of thought I’d give it a shot."
After announcing the outdoor opening on Facebook, Blundell’s barbershop scheduled 180 haircuts within the first three hours. The Carleton Place barbershop is just one example of the personal care service industry’s frustration with Ontario’s reopening plan.
"If I can have 10 people at my house, what’s one on one with masks?" questions Blundell. "I mentioned no beard trims, it was literally just haircuts only."
Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke directly to industry owners Thursday, when asked if a quicker reopening was being considered.
"When it comes to the hair dressers, folks hang in there. We’re going to get there as soon as possible," said Ford.
It’s a similar situation in Carp, where Jennifer Jones runs a beauty studio out of her home. Last week she attempted to offer only pedicures to customers outdoors, before being shutdown by Ottawa Bylaw Services.
"I was sure with the new phase opening up that if I can have 10 people outdoors now, we all can, I’m sure I can at least do one of my many services which would be pedicures," said Jones. "I can’t do anything else."
"(It's a) nice safe distance, we’re both wearing masks, nice music going on, it’s a beautiful day," Jones said as she described her outdoor studio in her backyard.
She’s pleading with the province to not only let her get back to work, but get back to helping customers feel their best.
"Getting a good pedicure is an amazing feeling even though we’re in a pandemic," says Jones. "Stop taking so much away from us."
Ford addressed those in Jones’ position Thursday as well.
"Manicures, pedicures; I have five women in my house, well not in my house, but five women that are onto me, they’re lobbying me hard for these manicures and pedicures," said the Premier.
But the lack of news on any further reopening is like nails on a chalkboard to those forced to stay closed.
"So wait until hopefully July 2, or 3rd or 4th, whatever the date is that I can actually open up," says Blundell.