Line-ups form outside Gatineau barbershops for first haircuts in months
GATINEAU, QC. -- Eager clients of walk-in barbershops in Gatineau lined up Monday morning, for their first haircuts in more than two-and-a-half months.
Barbershops and salons are among the latest businesses that have been allowed to reopen in Quebec.
Customers of Le barbier de l'Outaouais were more than ready for a fresh trim Monday morning. The line-up ahead of the 9 a.m. opening was around the parking lot. There were so many customers, the owner decided to open half-an-hour early.
"I am supposed to open at nine, but I opened at eight-thirty! My customers know me, so it is very, very busy," said barber Zak Abdat. "I am happy to be back! But it is crazy busy! So, it's a little hard for us for the first week."
Barbers in the shop are all wearing face shields and masks and sanitizing their products after every customer.
At Gatineau salons, regular customers didn't want to take chances, booking appointments well in advance.
Casey Young tells CTV News she booked her appointment at Victor Victor haute coiffure weeks ago.
"I had an appointment booked before the quarantine hit, but before that it had been 5-6 months, so I am due," she said.
Those appointments aren't easy to get. Salons say they're booked solid.
"We are operating on 40-60 percent capacity because of the safety measures but we are full.. all eight stylists for the next month," said Victor Victor's Isabelle Young.
Salons are also practicing physical distancing and having staff and customers wear personal protective equipment. Stations are spread out, the cleaning measures are strict, and hair dryers are not being used.
"We have to wear masks," said Casey Young. "They called me before to go through what the rules were going to be and the structure. So, I feel safe."